(MUNCIE, Ind.) — David Letterman welcomed Oprah Winfrey to his alma mater, Ball State University in Indiana, on Monday as part of a lecture series he hosts there.
Winfrey reflected on her difficult childhood, which included sexual abuse and living in poverty.
She said, “Being born and raised in rural Mississippi, which was like apartheid America at the time I was born, 58 years ago, when I went to Africa for the first time I felt like, Oh, this is no different than how I grew up.”
Winfrey established an all-girls school in South Africa in 2007.
The former daytime queen said her achievements are a direct result of her upbringing.
She told the audience of more than 3,000, “That’s why I’m so grateful for my years, literally living in poverty, because it makes the experience of creating success and building success that more rewarding for me.”
Winfrey had not been on terms with Letterman for many years, but the two buried the hatchet when she made an appearance on his Late Show in 2005.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN