BIGHEARTED Oprah Winfrey is continuing to celebrate her 60th birthday by helping her long-lost half sister, whom she introduced to the world during a bombshell episode of her talk show in 2011.
The TV mogul is now giving her kid sister Patricia Lofton a monthly allowance so she can quit working – and is also picking up the tab for her college education.
“Patricia’s greatest dream was to go to college and become a social worker,” an Oprah spokesperson told The ENQUIRER. “Oprah wants to support that dream.”
On top of that, Oprah bought Patricia a beautiful new house in the midwest, forking out $490,000 for a gorgeous 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home that’s situated on a large lot.
It’s a far cry from the tiny home in a rundown Milwaukee neighborhood where Patricia lived while working two jobs to support herself and her children, Aquarius and Andre.
Oprah’s mom Vernita gave birth to Patricia in Milwaukee in 1963. At the time, Oprah was 9 years old and living with her dad Vernon in Tennessee.
Baby Pat was given up by Vernita and lived in a series of foster homes until she was adopted at age 7.
As The ENQUIRER reported, Patricia had searched for her birth mother on and off for years before tracking down a niece of Oprah’s and eventually making contact with the media titan. When Oprah learned about her secret sister, she called it “one of the greatest surprises of my life.”
The two sisters met for the first time during a Thanksgiving family dinner in 2010 at Vernita’s Milwaukee condo. And on her Jan. 24, 2011 show, Oprah revealed that DNA had proven that she and Patricia were indeed half-sisters.
The ENQUIRER also revealed that despite her hardships, Patricia was devoted to her children. At one point, she fought to get them into a program that allowed inner city students to attend high school in one of Milwaukee’s affluent suburbs.
A former classmate of the kids recalled that Andre and Aquarius “were very close to their mom and were vocal about the tremendous amount of respect they had for her because of the sacrifices she made for them.”
Added the close source: “Oprah was thrilled to meet Patricia. And Patricia is so grateful that Oprah is helping her. But all she ever wanted is to know her family. She didn’t expect Oprah to do anything like this.”