Who is Donda West

Donda C. West (née Williams; July 12, 1949 – November 10, 2007) was an American professor and chair of the English, Communications, Media, and Theater Department at Chicago State University, as well as the mother of singer and producer Kanye West. West was born in Oklahoma City and graduated from Virginia Union University with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1971 and Auburn University with a doctorate in 1980.

She and her father took part in the Katz Drug Store sit-in in Oklahoma City on August 19, 1958. Gwendolyn West taught English at Chicago State University for 31 years. She helped establish the university’s Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing. For a year in China, she taught English through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

She was also chief executive of West Brands, the parent company of her son’s businesses. Kanye’s father, Ray, divorced when Kanye was 3 and she moved to California to care for him.

Donda West Cause of Death

West, who was 58 years old at the time of his death, died on November 10, 2007. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, she died of coronary artery disease and other post-operative complications after cosmetic surgery in January 2008. Authorities in Los Angeles launched an investigation into her death after learning that the doctor who operated on her had been convicted of alcohol-related offences and had earned at least two large malpractice payouts.

Kanye West gave his first concert since the burial on November 22 at The O2 in London. He dedicated a performance of “Hey Mama” as well as a cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” to his mother on all other dates of his Glow in the Dark tour.

Donda West Funeral

Donda West’s funeral was conducted Tuesday in Spencer, Oklahoma, and was attended by her grieving son Kanye, as well as music artists Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Anita Baker. Kanye West sobbed when speaking about his mother, whose champagne-coloured coffin came in a white hearse at the True Vine Ministries church. In his homage, he mentioned how much her mother adored him.

Baker performed “Summertime” on the keyboard of John Legend. Donda West was a great Baker fan who had just seen her perform in Los Angeles a few weeks before. Erykah Badu, an R&B singer, and rapper/producer Pharrell Williams were also in attendance.


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