Thousands of Ball State students packed an auditorium last night to see the school’s famous alumnus David Letterman interview another media great–talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
David Letterman focused his questions overwhelmingly on the early part of Winfrey’s life in rural Mississippi and the physical and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her relatives.
Winfrey said she would not be who she is now without the trauma of her early years.
“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 said.
Winfrey knew she had an audience full of college students – many of whom waited overnight in cold temperatures for a ticket to the event. She spoke about making a mark in life and helping others.
“All around you, there are people who are suffering,” Winfrey said. “There are people who are lonely. There are people who are depressed. There are people for whom a kind word or a ‘how are you doing today?’ could make a huge difference.”
Even though the discussion was serious, Winfrey also tried to keep the mood light.
“You and I have lived much different lives. I mean, I think that’s apparent,” Letterman said.
“You are a white man,” Winfrey said.
“I am a…Thank you, Oprah,” Letterman said.
“You are a white man,” Winfrey said. ” Of course we have lived different lives.”
This is the third media star that Letterman has interviewed on stage at Ball State. He talked with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone in 2010 and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in 2011.