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Oprah Winfrey's father dies, star pays tribute to 'man responsible for my life'

Vernon Winfrey died on Friday in his home in Nashville, Tennessee

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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Oprah Winfrey has shared the heartbreaking news that her father has died. Vernon Winfrey died on Friday in his home in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 89.

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Oprah took to social media to share the news with fans writing: "Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath."

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"We could feel peace enter the room at his passing," she added.

A week earlier Oprah, 68, had surprised her father with a party in his backyard for 4 July; the party was called Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day, and honored his 50 years as a barber running his own shop.

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"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," Oprah revealed.

"That Peace still abides. All is well. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts," she concluded.

Vernon served as a member of Nashville’s Metro City Council for 16 years, and was a trustee for the Tennessee State University.

Oprah grew up in her father's hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi before moving to Milwaukee with her mother, Vernita, who died in 2018.

oprah vernon

Oprah and her father in 2003

She spent years as a teenager with her father in Nashville and in 1986 the Tv mogul praised her father's parenting for sending her in the right "direction".

“If I hadn’t been sent to my father (when I was 14), I would have gone in another direction," Oprah told the Washington Post. "I could have made a good criminal. I would have used these same instincts differently."

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