Oprah's Mom, Vernita Lee, Dies at Age 83

Tanya Cunningham
November 27, 2018

During her time on this earth, Oprah has donated more money to charity than any other African-American, other than Michael Jackson. News, Oprah was not with her mother at the time of her death, spending Thanksgiving with girls from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, the South African boarding school she founded in 2002. File picture: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP.

Although Oprah may be the mother to us all, she has her own mom too, named Vernita Lee, and she passed away on Thanksgiving day at the age of 83.

A Winfrey spokeswoman on Monday issued a statement saying Lee died at her Milwaukee home on November 22.

A rep for Oprah confirmed to the magazine that a private funeral service has been held for Lee, and that she has been laid to rest. No other details were provided. After Winfrey gave birth and her son died in infancy, "My father said to me, 'This is your second chance". She was 83 years old, ' the statement read.

Winfrey, who was raised by her grandmother in MS for the first few years of her life, has spoken about her strained relationship with her mother.

Lee is survived by Winfrey and daughter Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, whom she placed for adoption as an infant and reconnected with as an adult.

'Memorial donations in Vernita's name may be made to Feeding America (feedingamerica.org)'.


Oprah has not publicly commented on her mother's passing.

Winfrey recalled a favorite story about her mother during a 2003 visit to the city of Pewaukee.

Vernita did not raise Oprah for the first part of her life, as the presenter went to live with her maternal grandmother in rural MS after Vernita moved to Milwaukee to work as a housemaid.

"I walked into that space feeling completely alone and abandoned".

Oprah was one of her four children.

"A woman comes out and says to me and my mother, 'I'm sorry, Ms".

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