Oprah Winfrey: The Hero with Talent, Resilience, and Charisma

Oops!  We had to remove the hero profile you’re looking for because it will soon appear in our new book Heroic Leadership: An Influence Taxonomy of 100 Exceptional Individuals, to be published by Routledge in 2013.

Our contract at Routledge required us to remove many of our profiles on our blog at this time.  But we do have other hero profiles and information about heroes on the menu bar located on the right side of this page.  Check it out!

In the mean time, please accept our apologies.  Here is more information about our new book.

You can click here to return to our HERO home page.  And thanks for visiting!

– Scott Allison and George Goethals

19 Responses to “Oprah Winfrey: The Hero with Talent, Resilience, and Charisma”


  • Despite her fame and tremendous success Oprah comes across as a very normal person. Oprah is in no way arrogant or boastful of her success and I think this lends to her charisma. I also think its great that Oprah uses her wealth to help the less fortunate and also her fame to bolster people she supports, like Obama. Altogether I think Oprah is a great example of a hero who fulfills all great eight qualities.

  • While I’ve never been a big fan of Oprah, she certainly is an amazing force and has used her celebrity status for good. Not only does she inspire people, she devotes a lot of energy and money to charity, and she encourages people to read; I’m seldom enthused about her book choices, but any encouragement toward literacy is welcome these days.

    A friend of mine, who was a Midwife, (sadly no longer with use thanks to insidious cancer) was once a guest on Oprah to talk about the book Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. I have it on tape around here somewhere; I really should find it and digitize it….

  • Oprah is one of the most powerful people in the world, but she has one of the most biggest hearts known to man. her courage to fight for whats right, and help people around the world without thought, or hesitation is what makes her genuine.

  • Oprah has a tremendous impact on so many people. She is extremely powerful and has a huge heart for others. Not very many people have a bad things to say about Oprah because she is very unselfish. She has the money to do as she wishes and prvides for others less fortunate.

  • I definitely think that Oprah is worthy of the title of Hero. She has always used her fame and wealth to help others. Her generosity is truly legendary and she is one of the most selfless celebrities out there. Even though she came from such painful beginnings, she managed to turn her life around which now makes it possible for her to touch the lives of others. Her generosity truly defines her and I think she is a prime example of a hero who lives up to all of the ‘great eight’ heroic traits.

  • Although I may not be Oprah’s biggest fan, I agree that what she has accomplished in her lifetime is impressive. Not many people would be able to overcome the adversity and tragedy that she has faced in her lifetime. She was able to put her past behind her and push herself to be the best, most successful person that she was capable of becoming. Her strong will and ability to persevere are admirable and heroic.

  • how isnt Oprah a hero? What hasnt she done? From fundraisers to giving money away to being able to become one of the richest people in the world, and the richest women in the world, and the richest black women in the world.

  • As so many celebrities lives have been eaten up by temptations and vices, it is refreshing to see that Oprah provides an example of the polar opposite. She demonstrates the altruism that we find so admirable in our heroes. Sometimes, Oprah’s kindness can seem superhuman, but her giving nature is so genuine that she does not seem unbelievable. The average person can still relate to her.

  • I never knew Oprah had such a devastating childhood! That makes her that much more admirable. I had always been so impressed with her selflessness, but this new knowledge has really made me appreciate her that much more.

  • Oprah’s childhood was really remarkable. Her story is inspirational to countless people in which if they apply themselves and really work hard, they can achieve success. No one is excluded from the opportunity of having a successful life. She didn’t let the tragedies in her life bring her down from attaining her goals in life.

  • Oprah Whinfrey is one of the greatest, richest, powerful, black women alive. The hopes that she has given black women is greatful. She has opened so many doors for young women today it amazes me. Oprah was truely blessed by God and the thing that really stands out about her is the fact that she is using all her wealth for good.

  • Oprah’s journey is truly inspiring. Without that journey and without her vivacious character, Oprah would not be the amazing woman she is today. Her ability to connect with her guests and allow them to feel safe and secure is a true gift that not many have. Her ability to lift spirits and to inject a sense of hope is what makes her an outstanding hero.

  • She is a true hero. What will she do next!?

  • Oprah is a truly incredible public figure because she gives hope to millions of people who may be dealing with very difficult situations in their lives. She has an inspiring story of her background and childhood, which is key for a hero like her because it is one of the things that draws people to her – it makes them stop and listen to her, because she is not a television star who has had it easy her whole life. Once she has the public’s attention, she is then able to use her charisma to make them believe her incredibly encouraging messages. Oprah has the gift of influencing the public, and the way that she uses it so positively makes her a clear-cut hero.

  • Oprah just amazes me overall. She overcame so many obstacles and has been a huge influence to everyone. She has everything but she is not greedy. She is always willing to give back to the community and help in every way she can. She truly is an inspiration and a hero.

  • I just recently wrote my last hero reflection on Oprah because I truly admire everything she stands for. I find it incredible that she endured so much in her life and overcame so many obstacles, yet somehow found a way to not only persevere but to serve as a role model for thousands of people. Her ability to connect and relate to all types of people, enabling them to feel at peace, is incredibly inspiring. Oprah is a true hero.

  • Oprah can be considered a hero not only for her charisma and character, but simply from the millions of people who can attest to the fact that she has changed their lives for the better. Oprah has not only taken a life in which she could have given up and allowed herself to be broken by all that she went through and not allowed that to happen, but she has passed the mark by leaps and bounds and has become someone who lives to help others. She truly makes the world a better place.

  • Mary Elizabeth Lovelace

    I have incredible respect and admiration for Oprah. She has worked so hard and overcome a sea of challenges to get to where she is today. I love her thoughts on the secret of life, that there is no “Big Secret” and that you can achieve what you want to achieve as long as you’re willing and committed to work for it. Oprah is the living example of this. What makes her even more of a hero is how she’s used her success to change the lives of so many people. For these qualities, Oprah is an inspiring role model and true hero.

  • I admire Oprah Winfrey a great deal, and the fact that she came from nothing is truly inspirational. She is a worldwide phenomenon and this is made even more impressive as she is so kind and generous. She has managed to stay grounded throughout her life and has never been corrupted and has attempted to help others. Many other people in her situation, going from nothing to one of the richest people in the world, would have reacted completely differently but that is what makes her a truly inspiring woman.

Leave a Reply