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Less than two years after Oprah debuted on A.M. Chicago, The Oprah Winfrey Show was born. At midnight on September 8, 1986—exactly eight hours before her very first national television show—Oprah wrote an auspicious journal entry. "I keep wondering how my life will change, if it will change, and what all this means. Why have I been so blessed?"

"Maybe going national was to help me realize that I have important work," Oprah writes. "Or that this work is important…which is it? And I vacillate between letting this be the most spectacular moment ever and getting goose bumps tomorrow or trying to treat it like an ordinary show. I think I'll end up doing a little bit of both."

The pressure was mounting for Oprah and her small staff to come up with a topic for the big day. The team finally settled on doing a good old fashioned dating show, "How to Marry the Man or Woman of Your Choice." The topic really struck a chord with viewers, making the show a huge success. And, it laid the foundation for what the Oprah Show does best: shows about and with everyday people.
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FROM: Twenty Years of Oprah's Favorite Moments
Published on January 01, 2006

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