Oprah Winfrey is mourning the death of her father, VernonWinfrey, who died after a battle with cancer. He was 88. Before his death, she was able to celebrate his life with family and friends. More inside…
Oprah Winfrey mourns the death of her father, VernonWinfrey, who died Friday (July 8th) after a battle with cancer. He was 88.
The 68-year-old media mogul previously shared her father had been ill. After his passing, Lady O shared the news on Instagram, which included a video of her dad during a recent 4th of July celebration she hosted with her family.
”Less than a week ago we honored my father, Vernon Winfrey, in his own backyard," Oprah wrote."My friend and gospel singer Wintley Phipps saluted him with song. He FELT the love and reveled in it until he could no longer speak."
”Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath," she continued. "We could feel Peace enter the room at his passing. That Peace still abides. All is well. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts.”
Metro Councilmember Sharon Hurt confirmed Vernon Winfrey died Friday evening in Nashville, Tennessee.
Last week, the media mogul surprised her dad with a family celebration on Independence Day, which she dubbed “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Celebration.” The former talk show host shared a sweet video - captured by her bestie Gayle King - documenting the day on her IG.
”Giving my father his ‘flowers’ while he’s still well enough to smell them,” she wrote in the caption of the video. “Happy 4th of July as you gather with your family and friends. Remember to celebrate each other.”
The celebration gave family and friends a chance to thank Mr. Winfrey for his service as a former city councilman and longtime local businessman in Nashville.
”My father is ill and so we wanted to be able to have all of his friends come and celebrate him while he’s able to receive the joy," she said in the video. "So that's what we're doing."
Appropriately seated in a barber chair, he looked on as he was celebrated, including a performance from gospel singer Wintley Phipps.
Leading up to the celebration, Lady O was super excited to get “back to my Nashville roots” where she was shelling peas and cooking breakfast with Gayle:
According to reports, Mr. Winfrey was a longtime barber and businessman in East Nashville. He moved there after serving in the U.S. Army.
Mr. Winfrey owned and operated "Winfrey Barber & Beauty Shop" for more than 50 years. He also was an elected Nashville city councilman, a deacon at his church, and the owner of a small grocery store. During her talk show years, Oprah visited his barbershop for a segment of her show. She has always been proud of him.
“So today I salute my father, Vernon Winfrey, and all the fathers who’ve done the best they knew at the time to give you, me, us, the guidance and support they were capable of. I know firsthand how the trajectory of life can change by the positive influence of a good father,” she wrote.
Oprah’s mother, Vernita Lee, passed away on Thanksgiving in 2018 at the age of 83.
Sending prayers to Oprah and her family during this time. R.I.P. Vernon Winfrey!
Photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock