Controversy and care: inside the relationship Oprah Winfrey had with dad Vernon

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Oprah Winfrey lost her beloved father, Vernon Winfrey, to cancer. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Oprah Winfrey lost her beloved father, Vernon Winfrey, to cancer. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She credits him with changing the course of her life and being there for her during a childhood fraught with trauma and neglect – even though it was never 100% certain that he was her biological father.

So when Oprah Winfrey’s dad, Vernon Winfrey, died recently at the age of 88 after a long battle with cancer, it was bittersweet for the TV tycoon. She was saddened by the loss but relieved his suffering was over and honoured that she could be by his bedside when he slipped away. 

A week before Vernon’s death, Oprah threw him a surprise party at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, and shared a clip of the intimate gathering shortly after news of his passing broken.

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