Dr Phil McGraw reveals why he sends Oprah Winfrey ‘Thank You’ letters every year

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 (Cindy Ord / David Livingston/Getty Images)
(Cindy Ord / David Livingston/Getty Images)

Dr Phil McGraw has opened up about how grateful he is for his friendship with Oprah Winfrey and revealed why he has continued to send her thank you letters every year.

McGraw, 71, discussed his bond with the television host during a recent appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, praising Winfrey, 68, for helping him throughout his career.

He recalled how their friendship first started when Winfrey was on trial in 1997, after a group of executives at a Texas cattle industry filed a lawsuit against her for making statements about the beef industry that they believed were false. She won the case in February 1998.

As McGraw was on her legal team and a frequent guest on her show, he said that she played a huge role in helping him start his program, Dr. Phil, which really “changed” his life.

“Oprah and I met in the late ‘90s when she was on trial, and I was on the trial team, then I started doing the show, and started doing the show a lot,” he explained. “And then we launched the [Dr. Phil] show, and it really changed my life a lot.”

“I had a great life when I met her, and I’ve got a great life now, but she changed a lot of things,” he added.

According to McGraw, it’s been quite vital for him to “sit down” and send Winfrey an annual letter to thank her for her guidance, which he’s been doing for over two decades.

“It’s just been really important to me, every year to stop, sit down and write her a letter, and say, ‘Thank you for the impact you’ve had on me and my family,’” the television host explained. “And I’ve done it every year for 25 or 26 years.”

He then remembered how thankful Winfrey was for the gesture, as he said that when he first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he told her that it was the first time she ever received a “thank you” from anyone. And once he became a talk show host himself, McGraw said that he came to understand Winfrey’s sentiment.

“The first time I launched a book on her show, I sent her a huge flower arrangement and a thank you note and stuff,” he said. “I think she had been on the air 17 years at that point, and called me and said, ‘You know, out of all the things that I’ve done, all the books and stuff, this is the first time anybody has ever said thank you.’

“And I thought, ‘Wow that’s hard to believe,’” he continued. “And now [that] I’ve had my show for 20 years, I understand what she means.”

McGraw emphasised that his letters are his way of letting Winfrey know how much he appreciates everything she’s done to help him at the start of his career.

“I’ve got this value, ‘Don’t forget who brung you to the dance,’” he added. “And I’ve never let her think I forgot who brung me to the dance.”

McGraw has previously discussed his friendship with Winfrey and how often they stayed in touch back in 2018 with Closer Weekly.

“We talk to and see each other on a regular basis,” he said at the time. “Oprah is one of our dearest friends, and someone both my wife [Robin McGraw] and I treasure because we can be totally candid with her.”

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