Oprah Winfrey’s mum is dead. Vernita Lee died in her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 83.
The TV Mogul’s spokeswoman who confirmed the death of Oprah Winfrey’s mum in a statement, disclosed that she died on November 22 and private funeral services have been held. Lee was a teenager when she gave birth to Winfrey in Mississippi in 1954. She moved to Milwaukee and worked as a housekeeper, with Winfrey’s maternal grandmother raising her until she was six years old. She then moved to Milwaukee to live with her mother.
However due to long separation, Oprah had a rocky relationship with her mother which eventually got better. The TV mogul spent much of her childhood travelling between the homes of her mother and father, Vernon Lee.
“I suddenly land in a place that’s completely foreign to me. I don’t know anybody. I don’t really even know my mother,” Winfrey told Huffington Postin a 2015 interview. “I walked into that space feeling completely alone and abandoned.”
Lee is also survived by another daughter, Patricia Amanda, and four grandchildren. She also had two other children — son Jeffrey Lee, who died in 1989 and daughter Patricia Lee Lloyd, who died in 2003.