Many people hold their parents in high regard but when it comes to Kanye West and his mother, Donda, it’s clear to see that she meant the world to him. Following the death of his mother, the rapper was determined to make sure that people knew her name.

Much of Kanye’s influence came from his mother and his younger years were likely influenced by her career as a teacher. Here’s more on what happened to Donda West, her cause of death and what Kanye has done to keep her legacy going.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians | Official Trailer | Amazon Prime

Keeping Up With the Kardashians | Official Trailer | Amazon Prime

Who was Donda West?

As well as being Kanye West’s mother, Donda West was a teacher who worked at Chicago State University for over 30 years.

She was head of the department of English, communications, media and theater for 24 years.

Donda was born in Oklahoma in 1949 and had both a bachelor’s and a doctoral degree.

As part of her teaching career, Donda spent a year in China when Kanye was 10 ad the two lived in the city of Nanjing together. She wanted to raise Kanye to be a “leader” and was a scholar herself.

She left her teaching career in 2004 to work with Kanye and manage him in California.

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Donda West’s death explored

Donda West passed away on November 10th, 2007.

A 2008 report from MTV cites that Donda died from a heart attack after having cosmetic surgery.

As per the report, Deputy Medical Examiner Louis A. Peña said: “In summary, it is my opinion Ms West died from some pre-existing coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors following surgery…

As per a report from MTV:The Los Angeles County Coroner has concluded that “coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors due to or as a consequence of liposuction and mammoplasty” led to her sudden death on November 10.

Following his mother’s death, Kanye has spoken about feeling guilt and in an interview with Q Magazine, he said: “If I had never moved to L.A. she’d be alive.” as per Rolling Out in 2015.

donda west death
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kanye’s tributes to Donda

In 2004, Donda moved to California to work for Kanye. She was his manager and always supported her son’s music career.

Kanye has highlighted his love for his mother in his music. His 2005 album Late Registration features a track called Hey Mama and he also cites his mother on Touch The Sky when he says: “Me and my momma hopped in that U-Haul Van“.

More recently, in 2021, his tenth studio album, DONDA, was named after his mother and he’s set to release DONDA 2 in the future.

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