Donda West Biography – Donda West Wiki
Donda West was the mother of producer, rapper, Grammy Award winner, Kanye West. Her early education was at Culbertson and Dunbar Elementary Schools, F.D. Moon Jr. High School, and Douglass High School where she graduated in 1967. Donda earned a Bachelor’s degree in English at Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia. She further received a Master’s degree at Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, and a Doctorate degree in English Education at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Other Study: University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; New Delhi University, Madras, India; Keith Cunningham’s Business for Entrepreneurs, Austin, Texas; Russian Studies at Iowa State University.
In 1958, under the leadership of NAACP Youth Council Leader and author Clara Luper, she, along with her brother, Portwood Jr., and others, participated in the first national sit-in demonstration to acquire public accommodations for people of color. Her father drove the first car.
Dr. West began her teaching career at Morris Brown College in Atlanta in the early ’70s as an English instructor and eventually became chairperson of the English Department. In 1980, she and 3-year-old Kanye moved to Chicago where she accepted employment at Chicago State University (CSU). Promoted from assistant to associate to full professor of English, she was also elected to chair the Department of English and Speech at Chicago State University and headed that department for six years before deciding to return to her first love, teaching. During her tenure at CSU, she was a Foreign Expert to the Peoples Republic of China.
In July 2004, after having worked at Chicago State University for 24 years, she retired from education to work full time as general manager for her son – producer, rapper, Grammy Award winner, Kanye West.
At the time of her untimely death, she served as CEO of West Brands, LLC dba Super Good and chair of Kanye West Foundation, which she co-founded with her son. The foundation’s signature program, ‘Loop Dreams’ was designed to help combat the severe dropout problem in high schools across the nation.
In 2007, her book, ‘Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar’ was released. Dr. West and Kanye have appeared on the ‘Oprah’ Show, ‘Ellen Degeneres’ Show, Grammy Awards, and numerous other radio and television shows. Other accomplishments: Elected member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE Co-Chair), NCTE committee for the involvement of People of Color, Outstanding Educator of the Year, Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Foreign Expert to the Peoples Republic of China, Fulbright Scholar, and traveled extensively throughout the United States to 24 or more countries abroad.
Donda West Age
Donda West was born on July 12, 1949, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. She died on November 10, 2007, in Marina del Rey, California, United States. She was 58.
Donda West Husband
Donda West married Ray West, then an aerial photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal Newspaper. To this union, one son, Kanye, was born.
Donda West Children
Donda West had a son, Kanye West, with her husband Ray West. Kanye was born Kanye Omari West on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Donda West Family
Donda West was the 4th child born to Portwood and Lucille E. Williams. She is survived by her son, Kanye West; parents, Portwood Sr. and Lucille Williams; one sister, Shirlie Scoggins Sullivan (Vester); one brother, Portwood Williams, Jr.; one god sister, Jean Roberson, (Lewis); one aunt, Arneda Hicks; nephews, Kevin Horn, Stephan Scoggins, Tony Williams (Traci), Don Harris, Michael Harris; god-nephews/cousins, Renard Jackson, Corey Anderson, Rickey Anderson, Darry Franklin, John Hicks, Reshan Jackson; nieces, Yvette White (Jesse), Pamela Scoggins, Kimberly Wallace; god-nieces/cousins, Yolanda Anderson (John), Lynn Franklin (Chris), Devietta Lamont (Floyd), Sheila Siddell (Terrell); great nephews, Jalil Williams, Steve White; great-nieces, TaDonya Harris, Olivia Harris, Sharon Horn, Adriel Smylie, Teandria White, Jehireh Williams; great-god-neices/ cousins, Arneda Franklin, Renel Jackson; numerous other relatives and many, many friends.
Donda West Death
Donda West passed away on Saturday, November 10, 2007, at the age of 58. At the time of her death, a family spokesperson said West had passed away “as the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure.” She had undergone a breast reduction, tummy tuck and liposuction the day before. People reported that Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, allegedly “experienced a sore throat, pain and tightening in her chest, before collapsing in the early evening. A friend at the house called 911 and West was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead in the emergency room.”
Donda West Cause of Death
In a 17-page final autopsy report, the Los Angeles County Coroner said in a statement that the exact cause of death of Donda West was unclear, but there was no sign of “surgical or anesthetic misadventure.”
“The final manner of death could not be determined,” the coroner said in a statement. “Multiple post-operative factors could have played a role in the death. The exact contribution of each factor could not be determined. There was no evidence of a surgical or anesthetic misadventure.”
The final autopsy report was inconclusive, saying that West “died from some pre-existing coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors following surgery.”
Donda West Funeral
Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, was buried on November 20, 2007.
Donda West Obituary
Donda West’s obituary can be found here.