Edward Joseph O'Donnell had five children including the 53-year-old comedienne, though their relationship was strained after her mother, Roseann O'Donnell died from breast cancer, in 1973, when Rosie was just 10 years old. She has said that her father dealt with his wife's death by distancing himself from his family.
"He had his own issues and demons, he had a very tough childhood, he had an alcoholic abusive father and never really got the help that I think every person needs when they have lived through that as a child," she told Piers Morgan in 2012. "I think that he had a lot of problems to deal with this."
Despite some of her father's actions while raising her and her siblings that were "unforgivable," O'Donnell has learned that "no matter what, at the end of the day, every child loves their dad."
It has been a rough month for O'Donnell and her family. On Aug. 11, her 17-year-old daughter Chelsea went missing and was not found until Aug. 20 in the company of a 25-year-old alleged heroin addict. That man has since been arrested and charged with third-degree endangerment of a minor and third-degree distribution of obscenity to a minor.