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Maya Angelou dies at the age of 86

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Maya Angelou is known around the world as an acclaimed author, poet and civil rights activist. USA Today reported Wednesday that Angelou passed away this morning in North Carolina. Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines confirmed her death stating that Angelou's caregiver found her deceased in her home Wednesday morning.

Angelou was best known for her work titled “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” She dropped out of high school but still went on to later become a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Along with her extraordinary writing skills she was a woman with many talents. Angelou was also a director, actress, dancer and singer.

Time reported that Angelou has received more than 50 awards for her work. The most prestigious award received was the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is the highest civilian honor in the nation.

Fox News reported that Angelou has had many other honors throughout her life, including being chosen to read at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. She became friends with Malcom X and remained close to him until his death. After that she helped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organize a march in Tennessee. Dr. King was killed on Angelou’s birthday.

Angelou was also on the 1977 TV series “Roots.” She also won three Grammy awards for her albums, which were spoken words. She was even nominated for a Tony. The above honors list only a few of the many that she has received throughout her lifetime.

Gov. Mike Beebe said, "Maya Angelou will always remain an Arkansas and American treasure." He went on to say that she inspired many with her work. He said that Angelou showed how strength, honesty and determination can take anyone to greatness.

Angelou last took to her Twitter on May 23 to share the following thoughts. She posted, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” Her words seem fitting today. May she find eternal peace and know she touched the lives of many around the world.

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