Oprah Winfrey‘s mother has died.
Oprah’s niece, Alisha Hayes, posted that Vernita Lee died on Thanksgiving Day. The family just confirmed the death.
Vernita was born in 1935 in segregated Mississippi. She met Vernon Winfrey and they gave birth to Oprah in 1954.
Vernita couldn’t raise Oprah because she moved to Milwaukee where she worked as a housemaid.
Oprah was raised early on by her maternal grandmother. When Oprah turned 6, she moved to Milwaukee to live with her mom … who was a virtual stranger.
Vernita is survived by Oprah and Patricia Amanda Faye Lee and grandchildren Alisha Hayes, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, Aquarius Lofton and Andre Brown, as well as great-grandchildren Jaxon Praise Perez, Chai Theresa Perez, Donovan Hayes and Trinity Hayes.
A private funeral service has already been held. Memorial donations in Vernita’s name can be made to Feeding America (feedingamerica.org).
Vernita was 83.
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