Why Oprah Winfrey Was Terrified Of Turning 56By Elysia J
Oct. 10 2019, Published 5:52 p.m. ET
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey confessed to People Magazine that she has long been terrified of reaching the age of 57.
The now 65-year-old explained that she was convinced that she would not live past the age of 57 due to a childhood dream. “I used to have this dream that I was going to be dead at 56, so the year that I turned 56 I was filled with dread,” she explained.
The star also explains that she kept this long time fear mostly to herself. She only ever told her close friend Gayle King, and even then didn’t give away all of the details. She told People, “I had only told one other person that I had a number in my head when I was going to die, and that was Gayle. Gayle said, ‘What’s the number?’ I said, ‘I’m not going to tell you, because you will drive me crazy and then I will end up dead.’”
The Dream Was Of Course, Wrong
Oprah turned 57 in 2011, the same year she ended her talk show. She was immensely relieved and also confused about the origin of the idea. She questioned, “When I got to 57, it was like, ‘Why did all my life I think it was going to be 56?’”
Oprah believes that she owes making it past 56 to an important life choice. Specifically the choice to move from her childhood home of Milwaukee to Nashville. “When I was in Milwaukee, I was trapped in a world where I could see how dire it was,” she says. “Had I not gotten out of Milwaukee, nothing would have been the same. I do believe I would have been dead at 56. I believe I would have been 437 lbs. I believe I would have had diabetes. I would have had high blood pressure. I would have suffocated knowing that things could have been different.”