Entertainment TV Dr. Phil Explains Why He Writes Yearly Thank You Notes to Oprah Winfrey: It's 'Important to Me' The talk show hosts bonded early in their career, but Dr. Phil McGraw has Oprah Winfrey to thank for some of his successes By Kelly Wynne Kelly Wynne Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 4, 2022 10:33 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Dr. Phil McGraw is grateful for Oprah Winfrey. During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the Dr. Phil star revealed he writes Winfrey a letter every year to thank her for helping his career. In fact, McGraw has been doing so for the last 26 years. "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,'" said McGraw, 71. "And I've done it every year for 25 or 26 years." Winfrey, 68, is equally grateful for McGraw's kind gesture. Phil McGraw Celebrates Son Jordan and Fiancée Morgan Stewart's Pregnancy: 'Another Grandbaby, Yay!' Manny Carabel/Getty; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty "She told me something one time — 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.'" McGraw and Winfrey go way back. The pair actually met in the late 1990s — a time before McGraw even had his own talk show. Dr. Phil, Come on Down! McGraw Fulfills His Dream of Being a Contestant on The Price Is Right As he reflected on the early days of their friendship, McGraw recalled how he used to make frequent appearances on Winfrey's namesake talk show. "Oprah and I met in the late '90s when she was in trial, and I was on the trial team, then I started doing the show, and started doing the show a lot," he said. "And then we launched the [Dr. Phil] show, and it really changed my life a lot. McGraw added, "I had a great life when I met her, and I've got a great life now, but she changed a lot of things."