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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Legendary Author and Poet, Dr. Maya Angelou, Dies at the Age of 86

Maya Angelou Dies

Winston-Salem, NC — Legendary author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou has died, according to her publicist Helen Brann. She passed away in her Winston-Salem, N.C. home after suffering from health problems, and was found by her caretaker.

Born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Angelou was raised between St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. She got into writing after experiencing a childhood tragedy when she was 7, after her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him. Later in life, she moved to San Francisco and studied dance and drama, and went on to become a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

She also went on to become one of the greatest literary writers of our time, and is especially remembered for her award-winning writings including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “A Song Flung Up To Heaven.”

Once, during in an interview with USA TODAY, she said, “I have created myself. I have taught myself so much.”

She also once notably said, “I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine… before she realizes she’s reading.”

Just last November 2013, at the age of 85, Angelou was introduced by her friend, author Toni Morrison, and presented with an award for “Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.”

This past January 2014, after the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela, Angelou published His Day Is Done, a poetic tribute to Mandela commissioned by the U.S. State Department. It was seen as an exchange of honor between two legends because Mandela had read aloud Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise, at his 1994 presidential inauguration.

She reportedly spoke more than 5 languages, and considered Oprah Winfrey and Martin Luther King Jr. to be among her personal friends.

For more information about the life and works of Maya Angelou, visit: