Oprah Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, died on Thanksgiving, family says

Oprah Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, died on Thanksgiving, family says

Oprah Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, died on Thanksgiving, family says

Vernita Lee, Oprah Winfrey's mother, died on Thursday, according to a TMZ report released on Monday.

Due to a number of reasons, Vernita wasn't able to raise Oprah for the first six years of her life.

Oprah's father, Vernon Lee, reportedly only had one encounter with Lee before she gave birth to their daughter. Oprah wrote that, at the time, she didn't really "know" her mother.

Lee was featured getting a makeover on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1990.

Vernita is survived by Oprah, her other daughter Patricia, as well as numerous grand children and great grand children.

Oprah spent Thanksgiving at home in Montecito, where she hosted a dinner for family and friends. The family directed memorials to Feeding America in Lee's name.

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An official obituary explained that Vernita died at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "'What is a mother?' 'What are you supposed to feel about your mother?'" she once asked.

Lee was born in 1935 in MS and gave birth to Oprah in 1954.

Over 10 years ago, Vernita sat down for an interview with TMJ4 at her Milwaukee condo, dishing on her famous daughter, "I loved her the way that she loves people now".

She welcomed friends and family for a feast, uploading a video in view of her 15 million Instagram followers showing her smoking turkeys with the help of a chef.

Her brother Jeffrey died of AIDS in 1989, and Patricia, who died in 2003. "I made the decision to give her up because I was unable to totally take care of her".

During a 2003 visit to the city of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, Winfrey spoke about her childhood in Milwaukee at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual Freedom Fund dinner.

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