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SALT LAKE CITY — Oprah Winfrey is coming to Utah.
So YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! EVERYONE GETS A CAR!!!
Actually, it’s highly improbable anyone is getting free cars from Winfrey (sorry), but maybe she’ll hide scented candles underneath all the seats at the Utah tech conference she’ll be headlining in early March.
Winfrey, a woman who needs no introduction, will be visiting local tech company Qualtrics for its annual summit — an event known to attract big names like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Hawk and Magic Johnson (and that’s just last year).
While Winfrey, like Beyoncé, is one of those rare humans known only by her first name, she wasn’t born the Oprah we know today. Winfrey’s parents were a poor, unwed couple in rural Mississippi, and the young Winfrey was raised by her grandmother.
Her childhood was blighted by sexual abuse and rape, and Winfrey was sent to a juvenile detention home at 13. She gave birth at age 14 to a premature baby who later died, according to a report from the Guardian.
Winfrey majored in media at Tennessee State University, then went on to become the first black anchor on one of Nashville’s major TV stations. After several years in broadcast journalism and a dalliance in talk shows, Winfrey moved to Chicago to host a morning talk show, which, one month later, became the No. 1 talk show in the nation, according to Oprah.com.
The show was renamed the Oprah Winfrey Show and became the No. 1 talk show for 14 seasons, winning 34 Emmy’s.
After that, it’s hard to list all of Winfrey’s accomplishments. There’s the “Oprah Bill,” which established a national database of convicted child abusers, the Oprah Book Club, the Oprah Angel Network and “O” magazine.
She was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the 20th Century, and then-President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was also given honorary degrees from Duke and Harvard.
“She didn't create the talk-show format. But the compassion and intimacy she put into it have created a new way for us to talk to one another,” TIME reported when they named her one of the 20th century’s most influential people.
Attendees of the Qualtrics conference (usually comprised of the company's software users and clients) will get to see Oprah in Utah. To find out more information about the conference, visit qualtrics.com/x4summit.