Oprah Winfrey’s Mom Dead at 83

Toby Graves
November 27, 2018

Oprah Winfrey's mother has died.

Oprah Winfrey's mother Vernita Lee has passed away at the age of 83, after she died on Thanksgiving Day, as confirmed by her family today.

Due to a number of reasons, Vernita wasn't able to raise Oprah for the first six years of her life.

Oprah had two half-siblings on her mother's side - Jeffrey, who died of AIDS in 1989, and Patricia, who passed away in 2003. While one might think Oprah is always hustling, never worrying about others, she is, in fact, one of the biggest contributors to charity in the world. A family spokesperson said the funeral had already taken place and was strictly private.

During her time on this earth, Oprah has donated more money to charity than any other African-American, other than Michael Jackson.

Memorial donations can be made in Vernita's name to Feeding America. Winfrey spent her childhood traveling between her mom, dad and grandparents' homes. She reunited with Lee, where she lived in Wisconsin, when Winfrey was just 6 years old. "I loved her the way that she loves people now".

According to TMZ, Oprah's niece, Alisha Hayes, posted that Vernita - who gave birth to Oprah in 1953 - died over the holiday, however her media mogul daughter has yet to publicly comment.

She also had a second half-sister, coincidentally also named Patricia, with Oprah only learning of her existence in 2010. She said she never told Winfrey about her half-sister "because I thought it was a bad thing for me to do".

In a 2007 television interview with Milwaukee station WTMJ, Lee said, "I knew Oprah was going to be something".

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