Dr. Maya Angelou

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There aren't many people more important to Oprah than Dr. Maya Angelou. "She's truly a treasure—one of our greatest living writers, a poet, a best-selling author, an actress, even a dancer and an XM Radio host. I'm proud to call her my mentor and my friend," Oprah says. "I've said many times Maya Angelou has taught me more in my life than probably any other single human being. And much of that wisdom can be found in a brand new book called Letter to My Daughter."

While Dr. Angelou gave birth to one son, she says this book is to her metaphorical daughters—Oprah and thousands of others. "You are black and white and Asian and Spanish-speaking and Native American, and fat and thin, and you're pretty and plain, gay and straight, Jewish and Muslim," she says. "You're all of that."