Oprah Struck By Tragic Loss On Thanksgiving Day

Oprah Struck By Tragic Loss On Thanksgiving Day

Our thoughts are with Oprah's family during this time. No details of her cause of death have been released. File picture: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP.

Vernita Lee, Oprah Winfrey's mother, has died at the age of 83.

A spokeswoman for the TV mogul issued a statement saying Lee died on November 22.

Lee was 18 when she gave birth to her first child in rural MS, naming her Orpah, but the girl became known as Oprah but because everyone mispronounced it. She left Oprah behind in MS when she moved to Milwaukee.

Oprah and her mother didn't always have the best relationship.

Lee is also survived by her daughter Patricia, whom she gave up for adoption at birth.

She is survived by another daughter, Patricia Amanda, and four grandchildren.

Oprah had two half-siblings on her mother's side.

Lee worked as a housemaid, moving the family to Milwaukee when Oprah was six. "I don't remember ever shedding a tear about it because I knew that God was my father, Jesus was my brother, and they were with me".

"I suddenly land in a place that's completely foreign to me. I made the decision to give her up because I was unable to totally take care of her".

After sharing two Instagram videos on Thanksgiving, Winfrey had stayed quiet on social media.

Oprah was one of her four children. While she largely remained out of the public eye, Vernita opened up her famous daughter during an interview with a local news station in 2007. "To my mother, I say, 'You can let this shame go'".

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