According to the family's statement, Lee died at home in Milwaukee and has already been laid to rest in a private funeral. "Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee’s passing. It gives our family great comfort knowing she lived a good life and is now at Peace," Oprah shared on November 27th.
Venetia gave birth to Oprah at the age of 18 - she was not married when she gave birth to her daughter in rural Mississippi in 1954. Oprah was raised by her grandmother until she was six-years-old when she was sent to Milwaukee to live with her mother, who worked as a housekeeper.
The 64-year-old has been open about the strained relationship she had with her mother throughout her early years. Winfrey spent much of her childhood travelling between the homes of her mother and father, Vernon Lee.
“I suddenly land in a place that’s completely foreign to me. I don’t know anybody. I don’t really even know my mother,” the TV icon told Huffington Post in 2015. “I walked into that space feeling completely alone and abandoned.”
"I knew Oprah was going to be something,'' Lee said in 2007. "I loved her the way that she loves people now."
This article originally appeared on marie claire.