Oprah Winfrey‘s mother Vernita Lee died on Thanksgiving at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the age of 83, it was reported Monday.

Lee is survived by 64-year-old media mogul Winfrey and another daughter, Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who she reportedly gave up for adoption at birth but later reunited with. Vernita Lee had two other children, a son who died in 1989 and a daughter who passed in 2003.

According to People, a spokesperson for Winfrey said a private funeral was held for Lee.

Winfrey shared two videos on Instagram Thursday on Thanksgiving, and also posted this family photo on Monday thanking people for their condolences.


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“I loved her the way that she loves people now,” Lee said of Winfrey in an interview with Milwaukee television station TMJ4, adding that her proudest moment was in 1985 when Winfrey “did The Color Purple.”


Her husband and Winfrey’s father Vernon Lee also once opened up about his marriage to Lee and the birth of his future famous daughter

“[Oprah’s] mother wrote me,” Vernon told People, “and told me that, you know, the baby had just come, in a letter: what it weighed, what its name was and so forth and so on.”

Winfrey was also recently spotted on the campaign trail in Georgia, supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who lost her bid to Republican Brian Kemp in the midterm elections.


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