TMZ is reporting that Vernita Lee, the mother of Oprah Winfrey has died. She was 83.
Winfrey’s niece, Alisha Hayes posted that the matriarch of the Winfrey family had passed on Thanksgiving Day with the family confirming the news to TMZ.
Born in segregated Mississippi in 1935, Lee met Oprah’s father, Vernon Winfrey and the two became parents of Oprah in 1954. Lee moved to Milwaukee while Oprah was a baby to work as a housemaid, leaving Oprah in the care of her maternal grandmother. The rocky relationship between mother and daughter persisted until the 1990s when the two reconciled.
Lee later appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to receive not only a makeover but was moved into a luxury condo in the Milwaukee area and was given a $5K a month stipend by her daughter.
The 83-year-old Lee 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.