Oprah's Mom, Vernita Lee, Dies at Age 83

Playing Inside Oprah Winfrey’s Relationship With Her Mom Vernita Lee

Oprah Winfrey is mourning the loss of her mother, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day.

Vernita Lee, 83, died at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No details on her cause of death have been released. 

Oprah's niece made the announcement on Facebook, writing, “I lost my beautiful grandma on Thanksgiving.” The funeral has already taken place and was strictly private, according to a family spokesperson.

Oprah and her mother didn't always have the best relationship. Lee gave birth to the future TV legend when she was just a teen. She left Oprah behind in Mississippi when she moved to Milwaukee. 

Years later, they patched things up, with Lee appearing from time to time on her daughter’s talk show. 

Emotions remained raw for Oprah when she described her childhood during one of her last shows, telling her audience, “I was a lonely little girl.” 

Lee is also survived by her daughter Patricia, whom she gave up for adoption at birth. Oprah and her half-sister were famously reunited on her show in 2010.

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