From the Archive: An Interview with Oprah at the Beginning of Her Fame

Daniel Hautzinger
Oprah Winfrey on WTTW's Callaway Magazine in 1984

Sunday night at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Her acceptance speech was the most galvanizing and admired of the night, speaking about how important it was to her as a little girl to watch Sidney Poitier win the Oscar for Best Actor in 1964, about the necessity of the press, about Recy Taylor, a black woman abducted and raped by armed white men in the Jim Crow South, and about the recent toppling of powerful men by women coming forward with sexual harrassment charges. 

Now one of the most powerful and looked-up-to women in the world, 34 years ago Oprah was just at the beginning of her fame, the new anchor of the talk show A.M. Chicago. In early 1984, she appeared on WTTW's Callaway Magazine to talk to host John Callaway. Although she was only thirty years-old at the time, her trademark warmth, intelligence, and joy are already in place. Watch her discuss trying to become an adult and her difficult upbringing and early career in broadcast journalism. 


Oprah expresses her love of Chicago but her suprise at its lack of diversity in media, and her feeling of special responsibility as a black woman on TV. 

Oprah Winfrey
From the Archive
John Callaway
window to the world