Renowned Poet-Author Maya Angelou Dies at Age 86
Renowned poet, author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at age 86, Fox News confirmed Wednesday morning. Winston-Salem, North Carolina Mayor Allen Joines confirmed Angelou was found by her caretaker this morning.
According to Fox 8 WGHP-TV, Angelou had canceled a scheduled appearance at a May 30 event to be held in her honor amid reported health problems.
Below is the last tweet from Angelou, written last week.
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
The White House released a statement from President Obama on Angelou's passing:
When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.”
Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time - a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman. Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things - an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller - and her greatest stories were true. A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking - but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves. In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.
Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer. And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, “flung up to heaven” - and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.
Read more from AP:
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Author and poet Maya Angelou, who rose from poverty, segregation and violence to become a force on stage, screen and the printed page, has died. She was 86.
Wake Forest University announced Angelou's death in a news release Wednesday.
She gained acclaim for her first book, her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller.
In 1998, she directed the film "Down in the Delta" about a drug-wrecked woman who returns to the home of her ancestors in the Mississippi Delta.
She was the poet chosen to read at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration in 1993. She wrote and read an original composition, "On the Pulse of Morning," which became a million-seller.