Being one of the most popular faces on TV and one of the wealthiest black individuals in the world guarantees you scrutiny in every aspect of your life, which is the case with Oprah Winfrey. For years, the talk show queen has garnered accolades for her activism, philanthropy, and trailblazing work on TV. She has also made the headlines for her enduring romance with American educator, businessman, and author, Stedman Graham. Winfrey and Graham have been together for no less than three decades now and have made their union work.
Despite rumors and speculations on why they never tied the knot nor had kids, the couple remains unbothered and has gone on to build a one-of-a-kind relationship in the annals of Hollywood. A major reason for their success is that Graham is confident in his abilities and is not threatened by either Winfrey’s fame or accomplishments. He is also not bothered by the reality that her wealth dwarfs his several times over. This doesn’t come as a surprise given that he was there before it all came along.
Oprah is North America’s First Black Multi-Billionaire While Graham is Worth $10 Million
Stedman Graham may not be as well-known as his iconic girlfriend but there is no denying the fact that he is accomplished in his own right. The New Jersey native holds degrees in social work and education and has gone on to found a sports management firm. He has also worked in P.R. and has dedicated himself to black causes and personalities.
As a seasoned educator, Stedman once held the role of an adjunct professor at Full Sail University Florida. He also created his own corporate and educational marketing and consulting firm known as S. Graham and Associates. All these career pursuits have seen him build up a modest fortune and he has further complemented it with his writing and public speaking gigs. Stedman has thus far penned about 12 motivational and business-related texts with the latest being 2019’s Identity Leadership: To Lead Others You Must First Lead Yourself.
Stedman is also often invited to give speeches at several public and private schools across America. These endeavors have helped him garner a net worth of $10 million over the years. This sum is quite respectable but it remains a mere drop in the ocean when compared to his long-term partner who has a fortune of $2.7 billion.
Oprah Winfrey first laid the groundwork for her prosperity by midwifing a third-rated morning talk show in Chicago into one of the most popular TV shows in the world, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Thanks to her emotional and extemporaneous delivery, the show was nationally-syndicated and ran for a total of 25 years (1986 – 2011). It became the highest-rated daytime talk show in American history and she made hundreds of millions of dollars as a result. The Oprah Winfrey Show came to an end in 2011 and Winfrey has wisely reinvested the money she made from the show to build a $2 billion empire.
Part of that empire includes the Oprah Winfrey Network which makes entertainment and lifestyle programming targeted at African-Americans. There is also Oprah’s Book Club and Oprah Magazine among other ventures. Winfrey has also featured in a handful of movies and theatrical productions over the years, including The Color Purple. She is also an ace investor and has put her money in the restaurant chain, Food Kitchen, as well as the health and wellness company, Weight Watchers (where her stake is worth $430 million).
There is a Three Year Age Gap Between Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham
Stedman Graham is three years older than his famous partner. The educator, writer, and businessman was born on the 6th of March 1951 in Whitesboro, New Jersey, and grew up in a family of eight. Thanks to his awesome physique, he not only excelled as an athlete but also as a sportswear model. He later completed his degree and went on to forge a veritable career path for himself.
On her part, Oprah Winfrey was born on the 29th day of February 1954 in Mississippi. Her mother was an unmarried teenage girl and this made for a nightmarish childhood. The little Oprah had to live in rural poverty with her maternal grandmother. She later made it back to the city with her mother but things didn’t improve much. They lived in a house without indoor plumbing and her mother was abusive. To make things even worse, the young girl was sexually molested by some individuals, including an uncle, cousin, and family friend.
These experiences made Oprah run away from home by the age of 13 but she later went back to living with her mom and her grandmom. She became quite good at her studies and got a part-time job at a local radio station. She also won an oratory contest and this gave her a college scholarship.
The Couple Have Been Together Since 1986 But Are Yet to Tie The Knot
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham first got to know each other in the 80s when they ran in the same social circles in Chicago. Graham had a girlfriend at the time though and so they kept each other at arm’s length until 1986 when they ran into each other again at the home of a mutual friend. Graham was single then and they commenced a relationship without much ado. He was 35 years of age while Winfrey was 32 years old.
The early years of the couple’s relationship were plagued with several tabloid stories, including allegations that Graham was cheating. All these turned out to be false though and the couple moved on with their romance. Winfrey and Graham have now been together for about 35 years and part of the factor behind their success is that they have taken steps to shield their relationship from the public. As the talk show queen once mused, being photographed together only serves as inevitable fodder for gossip and they try to avoid this as much as possible. They however step out for big occasions such as the Oscars and Golden Globes. At the 1998 Daytime Emmys, Winfrey received the lifetime achievement award and used that occasion to thank her man for helping her become who she is.
Another reason for the couple’s longevity is the fact that Graham is a man who is quite comfortable in his own skin. He is at peace with the fact that his partner is more accomplished than him and is not trying to compete with her or crowd her. He is not threatened by her fame, success, or money and thus genuinely encourages her and pushes her to succeed. The longevity of the romance between Winfrey and Graham has fetched them admiration but it has inevitably led to questions about their failure to tie the knot nor have kids. The couple did get engaged in 1992 and set a tentative wedding date for 1993 but that wedding never materialized. This led to speculations and Winfrey has pointed out that she is quite grateful that Stedman considered her fitting enough to be a wife. She however maintains that if they had taken that step, their relationship would not have lasted.
According to her, Stedman has traditional ideas on what the role of a wife should be and her career doesn’t give her that time for the sacrifices, compromises, and day-to-day commitments needed to make a marriage work. It was therefore better that they avoided getting into that complication. On the issue of kids, Winfrey has also maintained that her career wouldn’t have given her the chance for the responsibility and sacrifices involved in raising kids properly. It was therefore better that she left it alone rather than bringing children into the world and ruining them with bad parenting.
A Quick Comparison at the Golden Couple
|Oprah Winfrey||Stedman Graham|
|Height||5 feet 6 ½ inches (1.69m)||6 feet 6 inches (1.98m)|
|Net Worth||$2.7 billion||$10 million|
|Sources of Income||TV shows, investments, and sponsorship deals.||Book royalties, career salaries, and speaking fees|
|Birthplace||Kosciusko, Mississippi||Whitesboro, New Jersey|
|Children||Nil||One (Wendy Graham)|