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Peter Kramer  /  AP
Oprah Winfrey is PETA's "Person of the Year."
updated 12/19/2008 8:41:35 PM ET 2008-12-20T01:41:35

Animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has named Oprah Winfrey its “Person of the Year.”

PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk says Friday that Winfrey has used her “powerful voice to defend those without one.”

Norfolk, Va.-based PETA says the group will send Winfrey an award plaque and a letter of appreciation.

Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions says the talk show host is on hiatus and not available for comment.

Previous winners of the PETA award include U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia in 2007 and the founders of the San Francisco-based cleaning product company Method in 2006.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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