Here is why Oprah Winfrey, the richest Black woman in America, is not among the Wealthiest Americans In 2023

BY Ben Ebuka Oji October 17, 2023 11:26 PM EDT
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Forbes, the esteemed business and wealth magazine, has recently released its definitive ranking of the wealthiest Americans in 2023. The list features 400 exceptional entrepreneurs, captains of industries, business moguls, and leading industrialists.

Despite experiencing a loss of $500 billion in the previous year, the 400 most affluent individuals in the United States have recuperated the same amount this year, resulting in a collective net worth of $4.5 trillion.

As expected, the list includes notable figures. But remarkably, America’s media queen and one of the leading Black billionaires in the United States, Oprah Winfrey, did not make the prestigious list.

At 32, Oprah Winfrey emerged as a prominent figure in the media industry and gained immense popularity and influence as one of America’s most cherished and influential media personalities. This was primarily due to the immense success and critical acclaim of her syndicated talk show, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.’ Notably, Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American to host a syndicated television program, and over time, she skillfully transformed her media career into a highly profitable media and business empire.

Over the course of several years, Oprah Winfrey wisely reinvested the profits generated from her television shows, films, and various other endeavors into lucrative ventures, both within and beyond the realms of media and entertainment. This strategic approach enabled her to establish a vast and prosperous business empire valued at approximately $2.8 billion presently, as reported by Forbes in its recent billionaire tracking.

Why Oprah Winfrey is not among the wealthiest Americans

Remarkably, despite possessing a net worth of $2.8 billion, Oprah Winfrey, a media magnate and the richest Black woman in America, did not secure a place on the definitive list of the wealthiest Americans in 2023.

The exclusion of the wealthiest Black woman in the United States from Forbes’ definitive ranking of the wealthiest Americans in 2023 is attributed to two distinct factors arising from the methodologies employed by Forbes.

Firstly, the 2023 compilation of the wealthiest Americans encompassed a mere 400 individuals, chosen from a vast pool of over a thousand billionaires in the United States.

Secondly, this year’s ranking necessitated a minimum net worth of $2.9 billion to qualify, representing an increase from the previous year’s threshold of $2.7 billion.

Consequently, Oprah Winfrey, with her present net worth of $2.8 billion, falls slightly below the target despite achieving a notable increase of approximately $300 million from her previously reported net worth of $2.5 billion by Forbes in the first quarter of 2023.