Vernita Lee was born in 1935 and worked as a housekeeper.
According to TMZ, Oprah's niece, Alisha Hayes, posted that Vernita - who gave birth to Oprah in 1953 - died over the holiday, however her media mogul daughter has yet to publicly comment. She had two other children, Jeffrey and Patricia, who died before her.
A spokesperson for Winfrey said a private funeral had already taken place.
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'Memorial donations in Vernita's name may be made to Feeding America (feedingamerica.org)'. She moved to Milaukee to work as a housemaid, leaving the future Queen of Media to be cared for by her grandmother. She then moved to Milwaukee to live with her mother. Winfrey spent her childhood traveling between her mom, dad and grandparents' homes. I don't really even know my mother.
After living with her grandmother in MS for the first six years of her life, Oprah traveled to Milwaukee to live with her mother.
Winfrey has spoken about her rocky relationship with Lee in the past. "To my mother, I say, 'You can let this shame go'".
On the same day that her mother passed away, Winfrey shared an Instagram video of her preparing for her Thanksgiving festivities. In 2011, Lee appeared on the show with Patricia Lee, where the women discussed Lee's decision to put Patricia up for adoption. Oprah and her half-sister were famously reunited on her show in 2010. O's personal stylist gave her a makeover.