Author and Poet Maya Angelou Has Died

Influential author, poet, educator, activist, film director and actress Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. From humble beginnings as a high school dropout and teenage single mother, Maya Angelou rose to international fame as the author of the memoir I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings in 1969, and went on to become one of the most beloved and renowned poets and writers of her generation.

Though she’s best remembered for her work as an author, Angelou was a cultural force who wrote, directed and starred in plays, recorded an album, taught college courses, worked as a newspaper editor, served as a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and spoke six languages. She was also an important figure in the civil rights movement, working closely with her friend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In a now-famous interview after she turned 65, Angelou explained that despite all of her achievements, she was still living each day for a greater calling, reminding viewers, “I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory” …

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