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Maya Angelou: Dead at the age of 86

Maya Angelou, dead at 86
Maya Angelou, dead at 86
Photo by Michael Loccisano

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel“ -- Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. The world lost a great writer, speaker, advocate, and human. She was found dead at her home in Winston-Salem, NC today, May 28, 2014. Maya Angelou’s life defied labels. She was many things from street car conductor to poet to actress to singer. None of this encompasses her as a whole. She will be missed by masses of people around the world.

Her story was not always a fairy tale. At the age of eight she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend and she became an unwed mother at 17. Neither of these things held her back. She is one of the most accomplished and well known women in history.

Oprah Winfrey wrote, “I’ve been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20s. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her.” The entire message can be read here.

She is survived by her son, Guy Johnson, who is also a poet and novelist. Maya Angelou only made it through high school but had more than 30 honorary degrees. She loved being called Dr. Angelou. So, rest in peace, Dr. Angelou. You will be missed.