The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which determines the nominees for the awards show, selected the media mogul for the prestigious honor ahead of the ceremony in January. The award annually recognizes an individual for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment,” and Winfrey certainly fits the bill.
“As a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, she has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world, making her one of the most respected and admired figures today,” HFPA President Meher Tatna said in a statement.
Winfrey is the first black woman to receive the honor, and the 15th woman since the award was initially handed out in 1952.
She was previously nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1985 film adaptation of “The Color Purple.” Last year, she was up for an Emmy as the executive producer of the HBO film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” She also received rave reviews for her star turn in the film.
“For generations, Oprah has celebrated strong female characters on and off screen, and has been a role model for women and young girls for decades,” Tanta said. “Holding titles such as Chairman, CEO and Founder, Oprah is one of the most influential women of our time, and this honor is well deserved, especially in this 75th anniversary year of the Golden Globe Awards.”
Winfrey took to Twitter after the announcement, calling the award an “honor.”
The 63-year-old actress is in fine company, with previous recipients including Meryl Streep, Sidney Poitier, Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Denzel Washington and George Clooney. 2012′s honoree Morgan Freeman recorded a special video message for Winfrey to celebrate her achievement.
The award will be handed out Jan. 7 when the Globes, which recognizes the best in both movies and television, airs on NBC, hosted by Seth Meyers.