Oprah Winfrey House

Oprah Winfrey came from a humble background to become one of America's most influential women. Winfrey has amassed a great fortune through her media and publishing interests and uses her fame and wealth to positively influence the lives of people in need.

Born Orpah (after a character from the Bible) Winfrey on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi - USA, but now goes by the name of Oprah. At a young age Winfrey's parents separated and sent her to live with grandparents in very poor surroundings until the age of 6 when she moved to live with her mother. She was consequently se-xually mol-ested by male relatives at a young age and endured the hardship up until she was 14 when Winfrey moved to live with her father in Nashville Tennessee.

Living with her father did not eliminate her problems even though he was loving (yet strict) towards her. Winfrey struggled with dr-ugs and rebellious behavior and lost a baby after giving birth to it prematurely. Although her wild behavior conflicted with her father's strict rules and high standards she eventually began to settle after being awarded a University Scholarship.

The self-made media mogul paid $50 million in 2001 for the 23,000-square-foot Georgian-style home she calls the “Promised Land.” Last year the spread was appraised at just under $85 million. For such a public persona, Winfrey ferociously guards the privacy of her home, situated on 43 acres. At a Barack Obama fund raiser last year, guests were strictly prohibited from entering the house, and cameras were forbidden.

Oprah Winfrey is a savy business woman, as demonstrated in her success as a media mogul. She shows the same business acumen in residential real estate with her acquisition of her Santa Barbara estates purchase in Montecito, a small affluent community included in the Santa Barbara real estate market area. A luxury Montecito estate in Georgian design.

This Santa Barbara real estate gem is her California residence which she has named "Promised Land."

The property was recently appraised at just under $85 million but our www.RareEstates.com estimate would be above $90 million based on other properties sold and now on the market in the Montecito California real estate marketplace.

The talk show host, 56, has spent millions renovating this $50 million, 14,000-square-foot estate in Montecito, Calif. (which has 14 bathrooms and 10 fireplaces!)

The teahouse is where Oprah comes to read, meditate, and enjoy a cup of tea. She could listen to music at the touch of a button but doesn't: "I don't want to affect the mood here."

She may not visit for months at a time, only stopping by when she can really get away. "It's a commitment when I allow myself to come here," Oprah says. But whether she's in Montecito or Chicago or Johannesburg, the existence of the teahouse—just knowing it's there—is essential to her well-being. "It's my dream, having a place like this. Some people ask, 'Why do you need more space?' And I tell them, 'I need it to restore myself."

As she continues along a cobblestone road that winds its way through her property, Oprah points out a path—Hallelujah Lane, she calls it—lined with thousands of white hydrangeas. She didn't have a garden when she was a child, she says. "All I had was the hydrangea bush that was in front of my grandmother's porch." Hallelujah Lane is a living, blooming homage to her grandmother. White-pink Sombreuil roses (above), which were developed in the 1880s, climb the wrought-iron arches, while the newer, pure-white Iceberg roses surround the statue.

"I can get excited over little things," Oprah says as she walks past a patch of artichokes and green peppers. "I see a basket of heirloom tomatoes from my garden, and it's so beautiful that I have to take a picture. Just the bounty of it, the fact that this just came out of the ground, the fact—oh, I can go on and on about the tomatoes until people say, 'Hey, it's a tomato!"

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