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Lee passed away in her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 22, the family told People in a statement.

Lee, who was working as a maid in Fox Point, told Winfrey that Santa Claus was not coming that year because the single mother didn't have much money to buy presents. Winfrey said on her show that she was stunned to learn about her sibling, Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who also appeared on the show. Private funeral services have been held.

Memorial donations in Lee's name can be made to Feeding America.

Lee was a teenager when she gave birth to Winfrey in MS in 1954.

Due to a number of reasons, Vernita wasn't able to raise Oprah for the first six years of her life. She left Oprah behind in MS when she moved to Milwaukee.

"I walked into that space feeling completely alone and abandoned". I don't know anybody. Lee gave birth to Oprah's younger half-sister, who died in 2003.

Fortunately, the relationship between Oprah and her mom was eventually repaired. "I was asking the question. what is a mother? What are you supposed to feel about your mother?" she asked. The TV mogul spent much of her childhood travelling between the homes of her mother and father, Vernon Lee.

The talk show host posted two videos on her Instagram page from Thanksgiving. While one might think Oprah is always hustling, never worrying about others, she is, in fact, one of the biggest contributors to charity in the world.

"I loved her the way that she loves people now", Lee said of their bond.

Lee also spoke of how proud she was of Winfrey, who has stayed away from social media since her mother's passing.