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Oprah shuts down charity Angel Network, Kitty Kelley sounds off

May 26, 2010 |  2:09 pm

Oprah angel network shut downOprah Winfrey is dissolving her longtime charitable foundation, the Angel Network, according to the talk show host's website

Tipped off by a blog post by Kitty Kelley, who recently published an unauthorized biography of Winfrey, the Ministry was stunned to learn that Winfrey would disband the powerful philanthropic arm of her empire -- one that's raised more than $51 million since its inception in 1998.

"Oprah remains deeply committed to philanthropy, and her new cable network— OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network — will continue to highlight charitable organizations in conjunction with its programming in the years ahead," according to a statement on her site.

The organization, which has financed causes including schools in rural China and South Africa, aid for Hurricane Katrina victims and book clubs for children in under-resourced areas, grew out of a 1997 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in which Winfrey invited viewers to collect spare change to improve the lives of others.

Kelley calls the shutdown "dismaying to a needy nation, especially those in the Gulf of Mexico experiencing horrendous disaster from British Petroleum’s oil spill."

What do you think of the Angel Network shutting down? Tell us in comments. 

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Oprah Winfrey in 2009. Credit: Associated Press

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