West News Wire: Vernon Winfrey, the father of Oprah Winfrey, passed away at the age of 89. The passing of her father on Friday in Nashville, Tennessee, was confirmed by Oprah in an Instagram post.

The media tycoon wrote, “Yesterday, with family by his bedside, I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath. At his passing, “we could feel peace come into the room.”

Plans for the funeral were not immediately made public.

Oprah surprised her father earlier this week by hosting a Fourth of July barbecue for him in Nashville. The occasion was dubbed “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day,” and it featured a barber chair in recognition of his lengthy career as a barber and nearly 50 years of running his own business in Nashville.

Vernon served as a member of Nashville’s Metro City Council for 16 years and was a trustee for the Tennessee State University.

Oprah spent her early childhood at her father’s hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi, and in Milwaukee with her mother, Vernita Lee, who died in 2018. However, she also lived with her father in Nashville, between the ages of 7 and 9 and during her teens.

“If I hadn’t been sent to my father (when I was 14), I would have gone in another direction,” Oprah told the Washington Post in 1986. “I could have made a good criminal. I would have used these same instincts differently.”

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