Preloading

How Tough Times Taught Ellen DeGeneres Her Most Important Lesson

Season 5 Episode 501
Aired on 10/25/2015 | CC tv-14
Since 2003, Emmy Award-winning comedian Ellen DeGeneres has danced her way into the homes and hearts of millions of viewers. Long before the premiere of her daytime talk show, however, Ellen was known as a trailblazer.

In 1997, Ellen became one of the first stars of a primetime series to come out as gay in a very public way. Weeks later, her hit show was canceled, and the media backlash she faced was fast and furious.

Tough times like these, Ellen says, taught her the most important life lessons. "The one thing that I keep learning over and over again is that I don't know nothin'," she says. "As soon as I think I know something, I realize that I got so much more to learn. It's hard to hold on to everything that I've learned that I think is important, but I think the most important thing is compassion."

Watch as Ellen shares how pain and hurt helped her become more compassionate.

More from this episode
Watch OWN