Not only is she a tenured professor at Mississippi Valley State University, Oprah Winfrey’s first cousin Jo Baldwin is also an ordained minister who preaches at not one, but TWO churches each and every Sunday.
Seeing as this is O’s first cousin, chances are the mogul was well aware that Ms. Baldwin was a deeply religious woman when she hired her to be her personal speechwriter back when her now hit Oprah Winfrey Show first debuted.
After performing such a bang up job, Baldwin was promoted to VP of O’s production company Harpo Inc. And as Baldwin explains to Gawker.com, 2 years after the promotion the honeymoon ride was officially over:
“When I received my PhD in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Oprah asked me where I was going to work,” said Jo Baldwin in the summer of 2010. “I said I would be applying for a position at Ebony magazine as a copy editor. Oprah said she did not like Linda Johnson Rice [owner of Ebony] and I should come to work for her instead. So I did.”
“I was to work for her for three years, but she fired me without notice after two years… I heard from someone later that she got rid of me because she got tired of me talking about Jesus all the time… Oprah preferred the teachings of Shirley MacLaine’s books, such as Dancing in the Light and Out on a Limb, which Oprah made me read but I didn’t think much of.”
Whew! Talk about cut-throat. Oprah proves there’s no such thing as “family” when it comes to somebody’s money.