Oprah Winfrey's Mother, Vernita Lee, Dies at 83

Yolanda Curtis
November 27, 2018

When she was 6 years old, she moved north to Milwaukee to live with her mother, who worked as a housekeeper.

The relationship between Oprah and her mom was a tumultuous one but was eventually repaired.

Lee featured on her daughter's show in 1990, getting a makeover. Her obituary confirmed a private funeral service has already been held.

Vernita Lee is survived by Winfrey and her half-sister Patricia Amanda Faye Lee as well as her grandchildren Alisha Hayes, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, Aquarius Lofton, Andre Brown and several great-grandchildren.

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Oprah was raised early on by her maternal grandmother. Memorial donations in Vernita's name may be made to Feeding America'.

"I'm a Christian lady, and if you're a Christian person, it helps you to deal with situations like that", she said of dealing with the deaths of her two children, People reported.

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.

Oprah moved to Nashville to live with her father permanently in 1968 while she was secretly pregnant at 14.

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Lee was a lifetime member of the NAACP, and her daughter joked at the dinner that Lee had been asking her for years to come to Waukesha County to speak at the Freedom Fund event.

Oprah replied, "To my mother, I say, 'You can let this shame go'".

Vernita had a son, Jeffrey, who died in 1989 from AIDS.

When asked the moment she felt the most pride for Winfrey's achievements, she cited the star's multi-Oscar nominated film The Colour Purple.

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