Oprah loves her dogs and has made them the focus of several of her shows. Sophie and Solomon are Oprah's black and brown Cocker Spaniels. When Oprah decided to add more "children" to the home, she asked Cesar Millan to help the dogs, especially Sophie, to adjust to one another. Oprah added 3 Golden Retrievers in 2005, Luke, Layla, and Gracie. While training the puppies, Tamar Gellar helped Oprah learn techniques to teach her dogs proper manners. In May 2007, Oprah's Golden Retriever, Gracie, died from choking on a ball that belonged to Sophie.
While Oprah spends much of her time taping in Chicago, her main residence is in Montecito, California. The 42 acre estate is named "The Promised Land" and has amazing ocean and mountain views. Oprah also owns a large amount of land in Maui, Hawaii with a renovated "American Farmhouse" which was designed by Elissa Cullman. Oprah sold her once cherished 164 acre farm in LaPorte County, Indiana. The farm she purchased in 1988 contained a 9700 square-foot home and swimming pool. While taping, Oprah lives in a penthouse condo in Chicago.
Stedman Graham has been Oprah's long-time love since 1986. While the couple was engaged to be married in 1992, the ceremony never happened. Many fans, to this day, are waiting for Oprah and Stedman to tie the knot. In 2003, Oprah told Essence Magazine, "The truth of the matter is, had we gotten married we wouldn't be together now, because in no way is this a traditional relationship."
Gayle King is well known as Oprah's best friend, but she also has many other close friends that she holds very dear to her heart. The "Friends" that work closely with Oprah on her show and radio programs include Dr. Maya Angelou, Bob Greene and Nate Burkus. Outside of work, Oprah is close with John Travolta, Sidney Poitier, Maria Shriver, Forest Whitaker, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, and many, many others.
Oprah was taught to read by her grandmother in Mississippi at just 3-years-old. Beginning with the Bible, Oprah's love of books and reading has been a prominent part of her entire life. With the introduction of Oprah's Book Club, Oprah has singlehandedly brought reading back into the American household. Some of Oprah's favorite books include: "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale-Hurston, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith, and "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker.
At 14, Oprah did give birth to a baby boy that passed away within 2 weeks of his birth -- aside from this moment in her history, Oprah considers the girls who attend the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa her daughters. The 152 girls Oprah hand-picked will be well taken care of by their surrogate mother. To be close to them and be able to watch over their care, Oprah is building a home for herself on the campus.