Today Oprah shared a big family secret — she has a half-sister, Patricia, who Oprah’s mother gave up for adoption in 1963.
The two met for the first time over Thanksgiving last year. Patricia, nine years younger than Oprah and a single mother of two living in Milwaukee, has been searching for her birth family for years and made the connection in 2007 through a combination of information from the adoption agency and news reports. DNA tests were done to confirm their relation.
But today’s sister reveal has a lot of people talking about how Oprah lost the two siblings she knew as a child:
Winfrey lost her half brother, Jeffery Lee, to AIDS in 1989.
In 2003, her other half-sister (also named Patricia) died at age 43 after a long struggle with drug addiction. Patricia and Oprah apparently lived together briefly with their mother Vernita Lee, but their relationship was strained after Patricia revealed to the media that Oprah had given birth to a baby at age 14. The baby passed away shortly after birth.
After strained relationships, a disconnected family, and the loss of two siblings, it’s no wonder Oprah described the addition of her new half-sister as “the miracle of all miracles.”