Oprah Winfrey’s Father Vernon Passes Away At 88 After Battling Cancer

Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, has sadly passed away at the age of 88. The businessman had been battling with cancer.

Vernon Winfrey Had Been Battling Cancer

Vernon’s billionaire daughter, 68, surprised him with a heartfelt surprise party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday. Oprah’s father owned a barbershop and was a city councilman in Nashville during the course of his life. The media mogul uploaded a tribute post on her Instagram earlier on Saturday with a heartfelt caption following the news of his passing.


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. Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath,” she added. “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,” the star told her over 20 million Instagram followers.

Oprah Winfrey Threw Her Father A ‘Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day’ Celebration

The OWN network CEO shared behind the scenes video for her followers at the backyard barbeque she organized for her dad she dubbed as “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day.” In a video uploaded onto her Instagram page, the talk show host explained what the event entailed. She stated that she was throwing the party, “because my father is ill. 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. Happy 4th of July as you gather with your family and friends. Remember to celebrate each other,” Oprah typed out to caption the video. According to TMZ, Vernon owned the Winfrey Barber & Beauty Shop for over 50 years.

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‘Vernon Winfrey Would Give You The Shirt Off His Back’

According to The Sun, Vernon was also a highly-appreciated member of the National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame. An employee of his barber business expressed that Oprah’s father was just as generous as his daughter, “Vernon would give you the shirt off his back.”

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During the Fourth of July event, Oprah expressed how her father was one of her biggest inspirations and how he was a figure that she looked up to. She stated that he, “brought honor to your life and honor to my life.”

The type of cancer Vernon was fighting has not yet been released to the public.

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