Oprah Winfrey’s father Vernon Winfrey passes away at 89

Vernon Winfrey was a long-time barber and city councilman in Nashville, Tennessee, and his daughter, Oprah, credited him with her success.

Vernon Winfrey ― a barber, Nashville, Tennessee, city councilman, and father to talkshow legend Oprah Winfrey ― has died.

“Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath,” Oprah wrote Saturday in an Instagram post. “We could feel Peace enter the room at his passing.”

89-year-old Vernon Winfrey passed away on Friday, according to Oprah Daily. Oprah said in a video on her Instagram that she was celebrating the Fourth of July with him, but Vernon didn’t realize that it was really a memorial service for him. It was named the “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Celebration” by Oprah, who also brought along some of his favorite people, including his older sister Christine, who he hugged with a tearful embrace. During the party, Oprah thanked him for being the kind of father who had brought respect to both his and her lives.

For more than 50 years, Vernon Winfrey, who operated his own barbershop in Nashville, was a cherished barber. According to The Associated Press, he also spent 16 years on the city council and was a trustee at Tennessee State University.

Oprah smiling for a photograph with her father, Vernon Winfrey

Oprah has long credited her father for her success, claiming to The Washington Post in 1986 that she “would have gone in another direction” if she hadn’t been sent to live with him as a teenager and that she “might have made a wonderful criminal” otherwise.

She also paid tribute to her father in a Father’s Day video last month.

She recently stated, “So today I celebrate my father, Vernon Winfrey, and all the fathers who’ve done the best they knew how to do at the time to offer you, me, and us the direction and support they could.” “I have personal experience with how a good father can alter a person’s course in life.”

After losing her mother Vernita Lee in 2018 at the age of 83, Oprah has now lost her father four years after.