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"Because she is the first to celebrate other Black women's achievements." —Yolanda Sangweni, ESSENCE.com Entertainment Editor
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"She's an inspiration of strength and perseverance and a prime example of what it means to live fearlessly and do anything you can dream up." —Celia Smith, ESSENCE.com Fashion Editor
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"I love Oprah because we share a birthday (Jan. 29) and, in my head, that makes her my very special (pretend) godmother." —Wendy Wilson
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"She embraces her curves." —Charli Penn, ESSENCE.com Relationships Editor
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"She is confident in her own skin. She's dealt with her weight issues publicly for years—who can forget the size 10 Calvin Klein jeans episode? She's not ashamed of her journey and is now in a place where she is healthy, happy and whole. That, after all, is much more important than her jeans size." —Nicole Marie Melton
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"Because she is helping raise a new generation of empowered African girls, thanks to her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy." —Yolanda Sangweni, ESSENCE.com Entertainment Editor
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"From the Oscar's to the Emmy's, the White House to South Africa where she recently attended Nelson Mandela's funeral, Oprah has extended her reach like no other Black woman in our recent history." —Yolanda Sangweni, ESSENCE.com Entertainment Editor
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"Like a mother, she gives sound advice that people from all walks of life can follow." —Celia Smith, ESSENCE.com Fashion Editor
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"She's a woman who came from nothing and through hard work, intelligence, perseverance, a grounded sense of faith and an open mind and heart. All of these traits have enabled her to receive a bounty of blessings but, most importantly, she has become a blessing to so many others." —Wendy Wilson
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"She made Miss Sofia one of the most intriguing— and badass — female characters in Black cinema." —Yolanda Sangweni, ESSENCE.com Entertainment Editor
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"She can read anyone — celebrity, anyone." —Charli Penn, ESSENCE.com Relationships Editor
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"Because she probably has the Obamas, Maya Angelou and the Carter's on speed dial. Now, that's influential." —Yolanda Sangweni, ESSENCE.com Entertainment Editor
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Because her and Gayle King are the original BFF's. Their 30-plus years of friendship is a beautiful reminder of how two successful sisters can support each other through it all.
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You can still count on her to get the scoop with a juicy interview. On her OWN show Oprah's Next Chapter, she's talked to the likes of Whitney Houston’s mother and daughter, Cissy Houston and Bobbi Kristina, to Beyoncé and Justin Beiber.
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No one has perfected her second act quite like Lady O. Months after ending her daytime talk show in 2011, she launched her own cable network, which broke even in 2013. She also starred in the box-office smash The Butler, for which she earned a SAG Award nomination. Most recently, she signed on to produce the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma. We can't imagine what her 60th decade will bring.
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Her relationship with longtime boyfriend Stedman Graham is still off-limits. If there's one thing we've learned from Oprah about relationships, it's to keep everybody out of your relationship.
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She's not afraid to poke fun at herself as she did when she showed her "dark side" on Jimmy Kimmel.
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She's loyal to the people she loves. From her hairstylist Andre Walker (who's been doing her hair since 1985) to Iyanla Vanzant, once Oprah loves you, she loves you.
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Because she has made her journey to self-love our journey to self-love. Happy Birthday, Oprah!
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