It is January 29, 1954. I am born in the heart of Mississippi in a place called Kosciusko, (KAW-zee-ESS-koh). My mother is a housemaid who broke up with my father. She raises me on her own. My name is Orpah (OR-pah) Gail Winfrey but everyone pronounces it “Oprah (OH-prah). Before I am three years old, my grandmother teaches me to read. She takes me to the local church, where I am nicknamed "The Preacher" because I can recite Bible verses from memory.