In April 2010 Noah Robinson, aged 84 and frail, made himself known to Oprah Winfrey again (he had reached out to Oprah in 2003 and again only a year ago to ask for a DNA test) claiming that he is her father.

This is a fairly extraordinary claim for the Second World War veteran to make. Raised in Mississippi, Robinson was a poor farmer who now lives in a rural VA hospital. He claims to have sired Oprah with Vernita Lee, now 75 years old, in 1954.

DNA Test Request

He has made pleas to Oprah to talk to him before he dies. He told the New York Post “I told her [in a letter], if she wanted one I’d give her one [a DNA paternity test].” He has also allegedly given Oprah his social security number and a photo of him taken when he was in the Navy in World War II. He also wrote Oprah a letter but she has never responded to it.

Robinson is claimed to have said “I’m her real father. I haven’t seen her since she was a kid. She was a little bitty thing.”

He says he does not want Oprah’s money, just a phone call.

However, Oprah has grown up believing her father to be her mother’s long-term boyfriend Vernon Winfrey. She likes believing this. In 2003 Oprah did begin a search for her real father but ended it still believing Vernon to be her dad.

The famous talk show host is furious about these latest claims and told the audience at The New York Women in Communications Matrix Awards “New daddies are saying “Hello daughter, call me, I need a new roof.””

Oprah is adamant that she will not be contacting any of these people and she is refusing any requests for a DNA paternity test.

The recent publication of an unauthorised biography of Oprah Winfrey has coincided with this sudden surge in unwanted publicity for the chat show host. The book is an unforgiving take on Oprah’s life and its author Kitty Kelley claims that a cousin of Oprah told her the true identity of Winfrey’s father but that she had agreed not to publish it.

DNA Test Would Prove Paternity

Of course a paternity DNA test would put the matter to rest once and for all. The tests are 99.99% accurate proof of a paternal relationship with a child and 100% accurate proof of the person not being the father of a child. A DNA paternity test compares certain fragments of the DNA fingerprint which is unique in every person (except identical twins) and looks for DNA bands that are in the father and the child. The test is even more accurate if the mother’s DNA is also tested. This test relies on the fact that half of a child’s DNA is inherited from its mother and half from its father.

It is essential that all the people taking part in a DNA paternity test give their consent. It seems highly unlikely that Oprah will ever agree to a test and so Noah Robinson looks likely never to prove his claims that Oprah is his long lost daughter.

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