When Oprah Winfrey was 9 years old and living with her father in Tennessee, her mother became pregnant with a daughter who was given up for adoption. This was forty-seven years ago.
Oprah revealed on her talk show the “family secret” and introduced her half-sister, Patricia.
In October of 2010, the two sisters were reunited after Patricia embarked on a long search to find her biological family. “It was one of the greatest surprises of my life,” said Winfrey. “It left me speechless.”
Patricia was born in 1963 in Milwaukee and lived in a series of foster homes until the age of 7. She was then adopted, but said her childhood was “difficult” and she longed to be reunited with her birth mother.
When Patricia was 17, she had a daughter, Aquarius, and then six years later, she had her son, Andre. She was unwed and as a single mom, worked two jobs to provide for her family.
When Oprah first heard that she might have a half-sister who was given up for adoption, she confronted her mother and asked for the truth. her mother denied that she had a daughter and refused to discuss it further.
Finally, when DNA evidence proved that Patricia and Oprah were half sisters, Oprah’s mother admitted that she had, in fact, given up her daughter for adoption. The three were reunited on Thanksgiving Day when Oprah drove to her mother’s home in Milwaukee, where Patricia was waiting.