Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Miss., in 1954, and, the way she likes to tell it, she was so impoverished that she never had any new dresses or dolls and had to adopt two cockroaches as pets, naming them Melinda and Sandy. She may not have been well off, but Oprah was relatively "spoiled" as a little girl, her cousin said.
The partners, who have chosen not to marry, are very private about their relationship, but we've compiled a timeline of some of the highs and lows they've shared over the years.
Stedman was a divorcé, who was previously married to a woman named Glenda Graham in 1974. Stedman reportedly met Oprah in 1986 at a charity event in Chicago, where he founded the nonprofit organization Athletes Against Drugs.
"Window-dressing." According to her father, Vernon, Oprah admitted that she was not in love with Stedman. "He walked out in the middle of the night." Winfrey has played coy on Tesh.
Vernon Winfrey says he's been dismayed by how Oprah plays fast and loose with the truth.
As a teen, Winfrey was a wild child, promiscuous to the point of prostitution, her relatives said.