Oprah Winfrey's Mother Vernita Lee Dead at 83

Oprah Winfrey's Mother Vernita Lee Dead at 83

Oprah Winfrey's Mother Vernita Lee Dead at 83

"I knew Oprah was going to be something", she told Milwaukee TV station WTMJ.

Winfrey previously released a statement about her mother on Twitter, along with a picture of the two.

The mother of media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Vernita Lee, died on Thanksgiving Day, 22 November, at the age of 83. Oprah's spokesperson says that a private funeral has already taken place.

No other details were given.

Lee was a teenager when she gave birth to Winfrey in MS in 1954. After her daughter attended Lincoln High School and Nicolet High School, Lee sent Winfrey to again live with her father in Tennessee.

Oprah and her mother had a strained relationship that the talk show megastar openly discussed her hard past with Lee.

In addition to Winfrey, Lee leaves behind daughter Patricia Amada Faye Lee, whom she'd given up for adoption but later reconnected with. Lee's two other children, Jeffrey Lee and Patricia Lee Lloyd, died in 1989 and 2003, respectively.

Memorial donations can be made in Vernita's name to Feeding America. Oprah wrote that, at the time, she didn't really "know" her mother.

oprahtbt2An old photo of Oprah Winfrey hangs at WJZ-TV studios in Baltimore. She has not been active on social media since.

Lee worked as a housemaid, moving the family to Milwaukee when Oprah was six.

The star said during an interview in 2015 that she felt as though there always was a God watching over her who loved her.

While Oprah didn't have a great relationship with her mother, she encouraged her fans to love their families during her 2013 LifeClass. "I was asking the question ... what is a mother?"

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