A Lifetime of Choosing Whether Or Not to Marry
Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi in 1934 and then moved to New York City when she was twelve. At fifteen, she went to the United States Army to fight in World War II. In 1946, she returned to her native South where she became a housewife. Oprah started her own show in 1952, which quickly became very popular.
Olivia North never married because she was never really interested in marriage. Instead, she made a promise to her mother to find a man who would love her and marry her. When she was only nineteen, Olivia North moved to California to get away from the rigors of being a housewife. Olivia didn’t have much money to invest and did most of her own laundry. In her senior year at Harvard University, Olivia was doing freelance writing for the campus newspaper.
When she heard about a television show in Pennsylvania, she auditioned for it but never got that first job. It was not until she had been on the show for several years that she was hired by the network and a TV executive named Lance B. Banning invited her to move to LA.
Banning told her that he could get her an agent, but she would need to find her own. Banning was trying to sell his company and was looking for a younger woman to help launch the company and called on North to help with publicity.
Banning gave her a hefty raise and suggested that he could work with her in promoting the TV show. To win over the network, North purchased a horse and went on the road to sell the horses for the show. In 1963, Banning hired her as his executive producer.
The next year, Banning had an idea about a new competition to compete against the other networks. He asked North to find a young woman who was talented and an African American. North figured it was going to be difficult since there were very few people of color in the business and she would need a lot of luck to get it through. She did not get lucky, but she and her team did succeed and helped it become very successful.
The fact that Olivia North never married was something that most people did not realize at the time. It was her career choice and she was happy to stay single. But it was something that was necessary for her to develop her skills in business and human resources. When you consider her own parents, it is easy to see why she has become one of the most influential people in the media world.