Oprah Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, dies at 83

Vernita Lee and Oprah Winfrey

A cause of death for Lee was not immediately revealed.

During her time on this earth, Oprah has donated more money to charity than any other African-American, other than Michael Jackson. "We love you Vernita Lee!".

Oprah's mother was a teenager when she gave birth to her, and the philanthropist and TV star was raised by Vernita's mother, her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee in Mississippi.

Lee is survived by Winfrey and daughter Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, whom she placed for adoption as an infant and reconnected with as an adult.

Oprah's niece, Alisha Hayes, wrote that Lee died on Thanksgiving Day, and her family recently confirmed her death, TMZ reported. Oprah's spokesperson says that a private funeral has already taken place. The family directed memorials to Feeding America in Lee's name.

After sharing two Instagram videos on Thanksgiving, Winfrey had stayed quiet on social media. She was 83 years old, ' the statement read. Winfrey spent her childhood traveling between her mom, dad and grandparents' homes. Lee gave birth to Oprah's younger half-sister, who died in 2003.

She later went to live with her mother at the age of six for several years before moving in with her father in 1968.

Winfrey has spoken about her rocky relationship with Lee in the past.

Lee was featured getting a makeover on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1990. Lee and a friend who was the NAACP Waukesha branch president sometimes attended tapings of her TV show in Chicago bearing cakes to bribe Winfrey into coming to the dinner.

Winfrey said she had made peace with Lee's decision.

"Have a ideal love for imperfect people", she advised.

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