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Donda West Is Kim Kardashian's Mother-In-Law Whom She Met 2 Months before Her Death

Manuela Cardiga
Jun 10, 2020
08:30 A.M.
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When Kim Kardashian met Donda West, she didn't realize she would one day marry her son, Kanye.

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In 2007, celebrity Kim Kardashian met singer Kanye West for the first time. Little did she know that she would one day marry him, and bear his children.

That same night, she also met Kanye's mother, Donda, who would tragically pass away at the age of 58, just months later.

Donda never got to meet her four adorable grandchildren, North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm

Kanye West and mother Donda West at the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2006 | Source: Getty Images

Kanye West and mother Donda West at the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2006 | Source: Getty Images

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MEETING KANYE WEST

In February 2007 Kardashian saw a sex-tape she'd made in 2002 with an ex-boyfriend, singer Ray J -- Brandi Norwood's brother -- leaked on the Internet.

Six months later, Kardashian wanted to go to the MTV awards and reached out to a casual acquaintance, Kanye West. She wrote:

“I didn’t really know him but his people called my people lol & I was a girl in the audience at the live performance in Vegas.”

Kanye West and Donda West at his 28th birthday party in 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Kanye West and Donda West at his 28th birthday party in 2005 | Source: Getty Images

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MEETING DONDA WEST

That same night, Kardashian, who was to become good friends with West, met his mother Donda. It was a unique occasion, though neither of the women knew it: Kardashian would go on to become the mother of Donda's four grandchildren, since at the time, West was engaged to fashion designer Alexis Phifer.

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TRAGIC DEATH

Then, in November, tragedy struck. Donda underwent several plastic surgery procedures which consisted of a breast reduction, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. Even though the procedures went well, and Donda was released, her doctor, Jan Adams, advised her to check in to a recovery facility.

 Donda West  at the book signing for "Raising Kanye" in June 2007 in New York | Source: Getty Images

Donda West at the book signing for "Raising Kanye" in June 2007 in New York | Source: Getty Images

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Donda opted to go home where she was reportedly attended by an experienced nurse and several unnamed members of her family. The subsequent autopsy report stated:

"West was able to walk out of the clinic after 5 1/2 hours of surgery, heavily bandaged, and prescribed Vicodin for pain."

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24 hours after the surgery, Donda started complaining about a tight chest and a sore throat and her family called 911 and has her rushed to the hospital, where she pronounced D.O.A.

Donda West and Kanye West at Queen Latifah's post GRAMMYs party in February 2007 | Source: Getty Images

Donda West and Kanye West at Queen Latifah's post GRAMMYs party in February 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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The autopsy failed to pinpoint the exact cause of Donda's sudden collapse and death, and the report stated:

"The final manner of death could not be determined. Multiple post-operative factors could have played a role (...) The exact contribution of each factor could not be determined."

Donda West at a book signing for "Raising Kanye" with son Kanye West in June 2007 | Source: Getty Images

Donda West at a book signing for "Raising Kanye" with son Kanye West in June 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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It was however determined that Donda had ingested approximately 20 Vicodin in the 24 hours preceding her death. The excess medication would have been a contributing factor, but not the cause of Donda's death.

Kanye West with his mother Donda at a book signing for 'Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From The Mother Of A Hip-Hop Superstar' in June 2007 in London | Source: Getty Images

Kanye West with his mother Donda at a book signing for 'Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From The Mother Of A Hip-Hop Superstar' in June 2007 in London | Source: Getty Images

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KANYE WEST BLAMES THE SURGEON

To this day, West believes that the surgeon was responsible for Donda's premature demise, and in 2018 he declared that he would be using Dr. Jan Adams' photo on the cover of his new album, tentatively titled "Love Everyone."

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West was devastated by the loss of his mother, who had been his greatest supporter and his manager. Donda paid for West's first studio recording of his song "Green Eggs & Ham" when he was 13, and her belief in him led to his astronomical success.

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Donda was a professor of English Literature, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University, but she gave up her position to become her son's momager when his career took off.

 Kanye West and his mother Donda West at the launch of the Kanye West Foundation for music education in the schools in 2005 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Kanye West and his mother Donda West at the launch of the Kanye West Foundation for music education in the schools in 2005 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

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This is probably one of the things West and Kardashian have in common. They were both raised by strong women, with a great business sense who embraced their children's causes and careers whole-heartedly. Donda even wrote a bestseller titled "Raising Kanye."

Kanye West wearing a T-shirt in memory of his mother Donda in 2016 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Kanye West wearing a T-shirt in memory of his mother Donda in 2016 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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West has honored his mother's legacy by founding a charity in her name, Donda's House, a youth outreach program -- now renamed Art of Culture -- which seeks to help at-risk youth by giving them a creative outlet.

 Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the premiere of "Cruel Summer" in 2012 in Cannes | Source: Getty Images

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the premiere of "Cruel Summer" in 2012 in Cannes | Source: Getty Images

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KANYE WEST IN LOVE

West and Kardashian became close friends, but the romance didn't blossom until 2012, 5 years after Donda's death, but the rapper was already head over heels. In his 2012 song "Theraflu", West sang:

“I admit I fell in love with Kim/ Round the same time she fell in love with him/ That’s cool, babygirl, do your thing / Lucky I ain’t had Jay drop him from the team.”

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West was referring to Kardashian's disastrous 72-day marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries. In the aftermath of the separation, West got his chance, and in December 2012, he announced that Kardashian was expecting the couple's first child, daughter North West.

Sadly, Donda never got to meet her four adorable grandchildren, North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm, but Kardashian has revealed that the three older children always remember their grandmother in their prayers.

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