Even 15 years after the death of the great scholar Donda West, there is an ambiguity about the real cause of her death.
Besides working as a professor at the Chicago State University for 31 years, the great lady had a helping hand in the success of her rapper son Kanye West.
In this article, you will learn a lot about the life of the legendary educator and professor Donda West, her untiring efforts for her son as a single mother, and the hidden facts behind her tragic death at the age of 58.
Who Was Donda West?
Donda West was a scholar and an educator who served at the Chicago State University as a senior professor for over 20 years.
Besides that, she was also known as the mother of the famous American fashion designer and singer Kanye West.
Donda’s contribution towards building and re-shaping the Arts, Communication, Media, and English department of Chicago State University is indisputable.
A few years before her death, she decided to leave her career in order to support her son Kanye West in becoming a successful singer.
Her Early Life And Educational Career
Donda C. Williams was born on 12 July 1949 in the Oklahoma City of the United States. After getting her early education from Douglass High School, she joined Virginia Union University, where she graduated in 1971.
West also joined Clark Atlanta University to get a Master’s degree which led her towards a doctoral degree from the prestigious Auburn University. She was always fond of studying, and her friends often called her a bookworm.
Donda West became a part of the teaching faculty at Morris Brown College in the early 1970s. However, her real achievement was being appointed as a professor at Chicago State University.
The Alumni at the Chicago State University still reminisce about the days when Donda used to be a part of their faculty. Her untiring efforts have shaped the current Gwendolyn Brooks Center in the university established to promote creative writing and Black literature.
Who Is The Father Of Donda West’s Son, Kanye?
Donda West married the famous photographer Ray West in 1975. The West couple welcomed their first child on 8 June 1977 and named him Kanye West. But they got separated three years after their son’s birth.
Many people are curious to know the reason behind the separation of Kanye’s parents. But the former couple never commented on that. Ray is a professional photographer and is the first Black photographer who has worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
At the time of his marriage, Ray was a member of the Black Panther Party, founded in Oakland, California, in 1966. The party has the objective of working for the social rights of Black people. In addition, he also collaborated with Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States.
What Happened To Ray West?
As Kanye came to California along with her mother in 1980, he didn’t spend much time with his father. They lack the cordial bond that a father and a son usually have. Kanye was closer to his mother and only visited Ray during summer vacations.
However, their relationship improved a lot after the death of Donda West in 2007. It was the time when Kanye realized that his father was his biggest supporter. He also dedicated a few lines of his song ‘Champion’ to his father from the album Graduation, released in 2007.
Ray lived in Washington D.C. and focused on his career after his divorce from former spouse Donda West. We have discovered that the father-son duo has greatly improved their relationship and are on good terms now. Kanye explained his past relationship with his father in his Billboard Grossing song ‘Father Stretch My Hands.’
Currently, Ray lives in the Dominican Republic and supports his rapper son in his professional and voluntary work. He also owns a Good Water Store and Cafe and donates all of its earnings to the charity association of his son, named ‘Kanye West Foundation.’
Donda Deserves All The Credit For Kanye’s Success
The legendary scholar left her career to assist her son in making his dreams come true. She always wanted Kanye to be a well-educated person just like her. However, she noticed that her son was interested in music instead.
So despite being a rigid mom, she stood beside her son and encouraged him to pursue his passion for singing. She aimed to make Kanye one of the biggest rappers in America and taught him the importance of struggle and patience in achieving success.
“There is no room for shyness. I raised him that way, to think critically and analytically and not be afraid to voice what you feel,” said Donda about raising Kanye as a single mother.
The mother-son duo established the Kanye West Foundation in 2003 to help the youth get basic education and provide them a path for learning music. Kanye changed the institution’s name to Dr. Donda West Foundation one year after his mother’s death.
Did Donda West Have A Cosmetic Surgery?
As the retired professor started appearing in award shows and public events with her rapper son, she thought she needed to improve some of her physical features to look more attractive.
She had no idea that her decision would become the worst nightmare of her life. She moved to Los Angeles to get liposuction, tummy tuck, and breast reduction. But unfortunately, she was rejected by the plastic surgeon because of her chronic health issues.
The surgeon warned her that she had high blood pressure, artery blockage, and high sugar levels. However, the academic lady was not ready to listen to anyone. So she opted for Dr. Jan Adams, a professional celebrity surgeon.
Is Dr. Jan Adams Responsible For Donda’s Death?
The doctor agreed to provide Donda with her desired surgical treatment without knowing anything about her medical condition. On 9 November 2007, Donda underwent cosmetic surgery lasting more than 5 hours.
She was supposed to stay at the clinic to get the necessary after-treatment but refused to do so and left for her home. After that, she was looked after by her nephew Steven Scoggins, a registered nurse.
Scoggins spent the whole night with West and gave her Vicodin for pain relief as prescribed by Dr. Adams. The nurse left Donda’s house in the morning to attend a function after giving instructions to the caregivers.
After a few hours, Donda was found in an unconscious state by the caregiver, who immediately called 911. Unfortunately, Dr. Donda’s friend and the caregiver failed to follow the instructions given by the 911 representative as they were in a dilemma.
Dr. Donda Was Declared Dead Upon Arriving at The Hospital
As soon as the EMTs arrived at her residence, she was taken to the nearby hospital. Dr. Donda was declared dead on 10 November 2007. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that she took 20 Vicodin after her liposuction and mammoplasty as she was suffering from excessive pain.
So the question is, would Donda have been alive if she didn’t have cosmetic surgery?
Another bizarre thing is that the surgeon who performed Donda’s surgery had a history of many drinking and driving cases. Dr. Adam was also accused of medical malpractice and paid almost $50000 to settle all these accusations.
One year after her death, the president of the United States Arnold Schwazzenger passed a law that made it compulsory for everyone to get approval from a medical professional before having any cosmetic surgery. It was called the “Donda West Law 2009.”
What Was Kanye’s Reaction To Her Mother’s Death?
The hip-hop singer had a legal fight with Dr. Adams that lasted for many years. He was so furious about her mother’s sudden death that he decided to threaten him by using his mugshot as the cover of one of his upcoming albums.
However, with the passage of time and his father’s support, Kanye could gather his senses and focus on his career again after a few years. Kanye founded the music institution Donda’s House in 2013 along with his rapper friend Rhymefest.
The Donda House was a place where unprivileged people, especially youngsters, were taught music and writing. Rhymefest was also very close to Donda as she educated him during her professional career.
“She was everyone’s mom. A spirit never dies, a spirit lasts forever,” he said during a radio show in Chicago.
How Dr. Donda Became A Legend After Her Death?
Her death influenced Kanye’s career, who wrote several songs in the memory of her mother. Donda was the subject of his famous songs “Hey Mama” and “Touch The Sky,” released in 2005 as a part of his second studio album Late Registration.
In addition, the Runaway singer also launched his tenth studio album by her mother’s name last year. Kanye has proudly made a sequel to ‘Donda’ and released it on 23 February 2022, declaring it his eleventh studio album.