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Maya Angelou, respected poet, has died at 86

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Maya Angelou, respected poet and author, has died at the age of 86 in her home.

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Angelou's agent Helen Brann said she passed away this morning in her Winston-Salem home;

"She'd been very frail and had heart problems, but she was going strong, finishing a new book, I spoke to her yesterday. She was fine, as she always was. Her spirit was indomitable."

Maya, who is known for her autobiographies and works in the civil rights movement, recently cancelled an appearance at the MLB Beacon Awards where she was to be honored due to health issues.

Born in 1928 as Marguerite Ann Johnson, Maya was more than a poet and author. Maya has written, acted, directed and produced many movies, plays, and television programs.

She also worked with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. and was Hollywood's first female black director.

She was the first person to recite a poem at an inauguration since John F. Kennedy's in 1961, when she recited her poem, "On the Pulse of the Morning" at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1983.

Out of her seven autobiographies, she is known most for her first one, "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings' which detailed her life as a child and the abuse she endured.

She was a three time Grammy winner and was nominated for other awards including a Pulitzer, a Tony and also an Emmy for her performance in "Roots"

Maya was a mother to Guy Johnson and a grandmother and great grandmother as well.

She will be dearly missed and remembered fondly.

My life has been one great big joke, a dance that's walked a song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.
Maya Angelou

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