SEASON 1, EPISODE 105 | AIRED ON 12/31/69
Of all the incredible stories of survival featured in 25 years of The Oprah Show, TV Guide chose Nate Berkus' harrowing story as the most memorable. On December 26, 2004, a deadly East Asian tsunami killed an estimated 181,000 people. Nate Berkus and his partner, Fernando Bengoechea, were vacationing in Sri Lanka when it hit. Nate survived; Fernando went missing and is presumed dead. On January 17, 2005, Nate shared his story. "Seeing what had happened to Nate and hearing him tell the story on The Oprah Winfrey Show really brought the tragedy home and made it personal for people," TV Guide Magazine editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum says.