Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out on Her Mother’s Death

Oprah Winfrey (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Oprah Winfrey is speaking out about the death of her mother, Vernita Lee.

The entertainment mogul took to Instagram on Monday, Nov. 26 to address Lee’s passing on Thanksgiving. The mother-of-four was 83 years old and living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the time of her death.

“Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee’s passing,” Winfrey captioned a family photo featuring Lee front and center. “It gives our family great comfort knowing she lived a good life and is now at Peace.”

The television producer’s representative confirmed to People that a private funeral for Lee has already been held.

Lee was born in Mississippi and gave birth to Winfrey at age 18. She never married Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, and later moved to Milwaukee without her daughter.

At age six, The Color Purple actress moved out of her grandmother’s house to live with Lee in Milwaukee. But Lee sent a then-teenage Winfrey to live with Vernon in Tennessee after experiencing financial difficulties.

Lee gave birth to three other children after Winfrey, two daughters she placed up for adoption and a son named Jeffrey.

Any memorial donations made in Lee’s name should be directed to Feeding America, a national non-profit organization that runs a network of dozens of food banks across the U.S., Winfrey’s rep told Good Morning America.

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