Oprah Winfrey, (originally Orpah after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth), was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to unmarried parents. She later explained that her conception was due to a single sexual encounter that her two teenaged parents had; they quickly broke up not long after. There are conflicting reports as to how her name became “Oprah.” According to an interview with the Academy of Achievement, Winfrey claimed that her family and friends' inability to pronounce “Orpah” caused them to put the “P” before the “R” in every place else other than the birth certificate. However, there is the account that the midwife transposed letters while filling out the newborn's birth certificate.
see Jill Nelson, "The Man Who Saved Oprah Winfrey," Washington Post, December 14, 1981; p. W30