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14 Famous Black Celebrities Who Grew Up In Extreme Poverty


Oprah Winfrey

The media proprietor spent the first six years of her life in poverty while living with her maternal grandmother. According to a 2005 article on, Winfrey wore “hessian overalls made from potato sacks that earned her the cruel nickname ‘Sack Girl’. She had pet cockroaches and a doll made from a dried corn cob.” Winfrey would later move back in with her mother who was on welfare for an unknown period of time.


Sean Combs

The rapper and record producer, more popularly known as Diddy, grew up in a public housing project in Harlem, New York, with his mother. Diddy’s father, who was reportedly involved with notorious drug dealer Frank Lucas, was murdered at 33 years old.

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