The career of Suze Orman was recently celebrated with a special three-hour interview with the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television. The video oral history interview, done as part of the TV Legends collection, delved into the past, present and future of her multi-faceted career as a television host, writer, and financial advisor.
Orman describes her childhood inspirations, early moments in her career as one of the few women working in finance and how she eventually began her own financial firm. Orman also outlines her experiences in the entertainment industry, including her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and more, The Suze Orman Show on CNBC and her reaction to winning her first Daytime Emmy Award, as well as candidly speaking about her novels. Also included in the interview is advice on what she believes to be the key to a successful television series.
Archive: Did you ever have any interest in finance or money when you were a kid?
Suze Orman: The only interest I had in money was figuring out how could I get more. Not to spend on myself, but to spend on my friends. I didn’t have any self-esteem growing up. And my friends’ parents had a whole lot more money than my parents did. And I thought, “I know, if I could show them that we had money then maybe they would like me more.” So my fascination with money wasn’t about making more, but it was about having more to show people that look, we're just like you.
Archive: What question do you get asked most by people?
Suze Orman: I get a question that I hate and the question is, “how do I put money away for my child’s college education?” That’s the number one question I’m asked. And the reason I hate that question is it’s always by a woman, and nine out of ten times it’s by a single mother and when I say to her, “do you have credit card debt?” She say, “Oh yes.” Do you have any money in an emergency fund? “No, if I had money I wouldn’t have credit card debt Suzie.” How much do you have in a retirement account? “Haven’t started one yet.” And you’re asking me about how to save for your child’s college education. Now the reason I hate that question, is because that’s the evidence that the woman is undervaluing herself. She doesn’t care about herself, she only cares about her child. So what message is she passing down to this child about life and how it should be, but that’s the question.
Archive: Do you ever get tired of talking about money?
Suze Orman: Never. I love money. I love the topic of money. I love the topic of debt. I love playing chess with money. I love taking somebody's life that's a total chaotic mess and helping them right, make the right moves so they can do checkmate. And that I love that. I love it whether it's a stranger on the street or a friend. It doesn’t matter who it is. I love it.
The Archive of American Television is the Television Academy Foundation’s continuing collection of more than 750 in-depth video interviews with some of television’s most influential professionals in all fields. The Archive’s online site at EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG makes available over 2,000 hours of the Archive’s video interviews and supports the Foundation’s mission of preserving and celebrating the medium of television, and educating those who will impact its future.