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A woman who believes “luck is preparation meeting opportunity,” Oprah Gail Winfrey has continuously shattered gender and racial barriers in America. Winfrey is the most successful talk show host in American TV history — male or female, Black or white — and the first female African-American billionaire. As one of the most influential women in the world, Winfrey continues to be a beacon that transcends racial and social barriers, much like Barack Obama. In 2006, Winfrey endorsed Obama for president, her first public political stance ever. She accompanied the Obamas on the campaign trail. But perhaps her greatest contribution to the ascendance of Barack Obama is how she prepared America for him through her show, as an African-American who won the hearts of women from all walks of life.

WATCH: Oprah Winfrey delivering 2008 Stanford Commencement speech.

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