Oprah Winfrey announces death of her father, Vernon Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey at 2015 film awards
Oprah announced the death of her father with a heartwarming video from days before his passing. Pic credit: © Purvis/AdMedia

Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, sadly passed away at the age of 88 on Friday.

The former councilman was surrounded by family, including Oprah, as he took his last breath inside his Nashville home.

On Saturday, the talk show host extraordinaire took to Instagram to share the news with her followers, noting the honor and peace she felt after saying goodbye to such an impactful person in her life.

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Oprah Winfrey shared a video of Vernon taken days before his passing

On Saturday, Oprah uploaded a video from her Fourth of July celebration, which she had turned into a “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day” backyard barbeque to celebrate her father. The clip, which showed gospel singer Wintley Phipps singing to Vernon, was shared alongside the news of her father’s passing in the caption.

“Vernon Winfrey 1933-2022,” Oprah wrote. “Less than a week ago we honored my father in his own backyard. 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,” she continued. “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.”

Many have shared their condolences on Vernon’s passing via social media, including Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

“I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Vernon Winfrey. Vernon served on Metro Council for 16 years, and dedicated his life to entrepreneurship, barbering and mentoring young men in the community. An Army veteran and deacon, he leaves behind a legacy of service,” he posted on Twitter.

Mayor John Cooper's tweet on Vernon's passing
Pic credit: @JohnCooper4Nash/Twitter

Oprah on the reasoning behind ‘Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day’

On Monday, Oprah shared a video that showed her during a surprise party she had planned with her father’s friends and loved ones in Nashville.

While standing in front of a balloon arch and a large banner that read “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day,” Oprah said that her father had no idea the event was actually for him and simply thought everyone was celebrating the Fourth of July.

“So we’ve been planning a backyard barbeque that’s actually more than a backyard barbeque,” she said in the video. “It’s for ‘Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day,’ because 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.”

“Giving my father his ‘flowers’ while he’s still well enough to smell them,” Oprah wrote. “Happy 4th of July as you gather with your family and friends. Remember to celebrate each other.”

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