Why Oprah Winfrey chose not to have kids
December 12th, 2013
12:08 PM ET

Why Oprah Winfrey chose not to have kids

Oprah Winfrey has practically raised a nation of "Oprah Winfrey Show" viewers, but the mogul nonetheless thinks that her own biological progeny wouldn't be as enraptured.

"If I had kids, my kids would hate me," Winfrey told the Hollywood Reporter in a new interview. "They would have ended up on the equivalent of the 'Oprah' show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would've probably been them."

Winfrey, 59, doesn't seem to regret her decision to forgo parenthood in favor of her career. After all, especially in comparison to her BFF Gayle King, motherhood hadn't been on the front of her mind as she grew up.

"Gayle was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade Home Ec class, was writing down her name and the names of her children," Winfrey said. "While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King."

Her desire to foster change can be seen in her OWN network, which she struggled to launch following the end of her daily daytime talk show in 2011.

"I had become so accustomed to succeeding that I no longer even remembered what it was like to fail," Winfrey said of that rough period that began roughly three years ago. "This has been the great climb of my life. But I still have a long way to go."

Filed under: Celebrities • Oprah Winfrey

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Dave

    So it wasn't because she's a lesbian...

    January 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Krenwinkle

      Yes, she's a lesbian. Duh. But if you didn't know, lesbians often reproduce. And in the case of Oprah, a total narcissist, I would think she'd want to leave her fortune to her own bloodline.

      January 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary Douglas

    Large numbers of my friends and acquaintances in their 50's and 60's were responsible enough not to bring children into the world, and I can proudly count myself among those men who consciously decided not to participate in creating yet another human being to overburden our planet's resources.

    January 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I felt the same way. That's why when my child was born I killed a couple rabbits, to even it out....

      January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ted Ward

    Oprah wisely realized that she couldn't have/do it all.

    January 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrea

    At least she is honest enough about her reason for not having kids. There are a lot of people who shouild not have the kids they did. Everyone is not meant to be a parent.

    January 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pw

    I never understood why people liked oprah. She is amaterialist masquerading as a spiritual person, her interviewing style is impersonal and distracted, and she seems to think happiness comes from owning things. Her loyal fan base love her though. I just never understood why.

    January 1, 2014 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Babbette

      I totally agree. I ahve tried to watch and be engaged. Nothing....

      January 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    Wouldn't the real question be, "Why Oprah choose not to marry?" With a supporting husband kids wouldn't be the problem. But she's right, her dedication to other things would have had to suffer- and it would have been family. Too many parents fail to see that.

    December 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Grego

    I hate Oprah but I bet she would have made a good Mom.

    December 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • bhartman36

      She pretty much says flat out that she wouldn't be a good mother. I see no reason to doubt her when she's showing such insight.

      I do think it's a sad commentary, though. She's basically saying she wants her life to be all about her, and kids would interfere with that.

      December 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nkechi joseph


    December 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nkechi joseph

    she is selfish,how can she work for another to reep.she is wicked and evil.

    December 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. will

    id do her just to get the child support.

    December 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. angela murphy

    the real reason Oprah would have been a terrible mother is that she is a narcissist.

    what other kind of person who starts a magazine puts their picture on EVERY cover?

    December 25, 2013 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • bhartman36

      She pretty much admits she's a narcissist in the quote. She didn't want kids because she wants her life to be all about her.

      December 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |


    December 24, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Eiaculate

    i tried but it didnt work

    December 24, 2013 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rock


    December 24, 2013 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Meh

    I dont like this broad but i salute her decision to not ruin some kid's life while she worked and ignored the child.

    December 24, 2013 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  16. cinge

    When someone asks why you don't have children, simply ask him/her "Why do you want to know that?" and smile. It is the correct response to any cretin who thinks he or she has a right to know your personal business.

    December 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • alucarD

      People who dont have kids are the responsible ones. There's no reason to have kids, really. "We're so in love, and wanted to express it by having a child" B-chit...thats the dopamine talking and it wears off. Just like religion is the leading cause of death, kids are one of the leading causes of divorce and regret.
      This planet needs to get its head around population control. Screwlng is free but fixing this planet is not.

      December 24, 2013 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  17. SKY


    December 13, 2013 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  18. gahh

    Who is she going to leave all those billions to? If Steadman gets a hold of that money, he will party like it's 2099, with a mess of those young sweet thangs!

    December 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccintheknow

      Why do you think she never married him. Believe me, Oprah wished she had at least one child.

      December 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MRS

      Oprah may not have kids, however she does have family outside of Steadman. If she decides to give it to Steadman, that is her business. She also has all the children of the world that she has put through College and please not forget her school in Africa

      December 17, 2013 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  19. Rosie

    I don't know that anyone, especially Oprah Winfrey should have to defend their very personal decision to NOT have children. I never had children–though not by choice. Yet I always find myself having to explain my situation at parties or get together because complete strangers will ask,"Do you have kids?" I wish there was a movement to have that question banned from conversations on the ground that it's no one's damn buisness

    December 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Name

    Oprah sure does look pregnant tho.

    December 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Susanna Mack

    Oprah has done a lot for this country with her charitable works, including writing a ten million dollar check for Hurricane Katrina Victims, building a street of houses there, Girls' School, many organizations in America. She has shown us what potential we all can have by sharing her rags to riches story and all the struggles she's had like anyone else. You don't have to be a fan, but she deserves respect.

    December 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Sayin'

      Oprah is a big, fat, racist who does much to help the black folk while she picks the pockets of stupid white liberals who watch her garbage TV. The funding for homes that were built for Katrina victims came from her Angel Network....where people DONATE money for whatever 'cause' Oprah happens to shove out there. You think Oprah is personally responsible for all gifting that goes on with her show? LOL! She's just another typical liberal who trolls for other people's money to make herself look good. Aside from that, she's a 1%er, so all you libs should hate her.

      January 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  22. anna

    What a pity that more dont follow her lead – instead of breeding like rabbits.

    December 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Don Chezina

    I had my first kid at 35 yrs but never is to late,,,!!!

    December 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  24. ProperVillain

    Does anyone really care what Oprah thinks? Is this how she is trying to make herself relevant now after her failed network? Making commentary on why she did or didn't do something that no one cares about? Her and Kanye need to both sail off to delusional self absorbed island and leave us all alone....

    December 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  25. pitt04

    Oprah, was a born leader. It was innate..in the womb...

    December 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |

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