Vernon Winfrey, Oprah’s father, has died in his battle with cancer. The media mogul confirmed the news on Friday (July 8). The councilman was 89.
“Less than a week ago we honored my father in his own backyard. My friend and gospel singer Wintley Phipps saluted him with song,” she wrote in the caption of her Instagram post. “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. 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.”
This past Fourth of July, Oprah surprised her father with a “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day,” a celebration to honor his longstanding career as a barber and business owner for nearly 50 years. She wanted to give him his flowers.
“Thank you for being the kind of father who has brought honor to your life and honor to my life,” Oprah expressed to him during the event. Winfrey’s father also served as a member of Nashville’s Metro City Council for 16 years and was a trustee for Tennessee State University.
As reported by Oprah Daily, the former talk show host did spend his final weeks with him in Nashville. Oprah’s mother, Vernita Lee, preceded Winfrey in death in 2018. She was 83. Watch Mr. Winfrey celebrate his 79th birthday in the video below.
VIBE sends our deepest condolences to Oprah and the Winfrey family.