Whoopi Goldberg lost her brother, Clyde Johnson, in an equally tragic manner. Johnson died in 2015 from a brain aneurysm at the age of 65 years old. Just as she did with her mother, the EGOT winner announced Johnson’s death during a live taping of “The View,” after taking a brief break. During the segment, Goldberg said, “Thank you for all of the outpouring of sympathy.” She continued, “My brother, Clyde Johnson was an amazing cat. You guys met him. But he was the funny one of the family. He and my mother, together, were insane.” Goldberg also thanked the people at the mortuary who respectfully helped assist with her brother’s burial, after experiencing poor treatment from a different company. 

Johnson’s death hit Goldberg especially hard and impacted her ability to recall memories. “I couldn’t remember anything after my brother passed,” Goldberg shared with People in May 2024. “I don’t know why, but for some reason in my head, my brother’s only been gone five years and my mom’s been gone seven. It’s not so, my mom’s been gone 16 years and my brother’s been gone 11.” (To drive home Whoopi’s point, at the time of the interview, her mom actually died 14 years ago and her brother had been gone for nine.) Goldberg’s limited memory of her family also inspired her to write “Bits and Pieces.” She continued, “I just thought, ‘Wow, if you can’t keep how they’ve been gone together, it’s no wonder you can’t remember anything … So just maybe you should just write some stuff down, see what happens if you do that.'”

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