One of the most renowned and influential voices of our time, award-winning American author Dr. Maya Angelou has died at 86.
Angelou had been reportedly battling health problems. She recently canceled a scheduled appearance of a special event to be held in her honour.
She was also set to be honoured with the “Beacon of Life Award” at the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon on May 30 in Houston, Texas.
Angelou was is a celebrated poet, novelist, educator, producer, actress, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to university. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “I created myself,” she once said. “I have taught myself so much.”
The writer’s voice was born from a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for almost a decade. When she was 7, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him. “My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years,” she said.
She has received over 50 honorary degrees and was Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
Angelou is famous for saying, “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.”
There are no further details at this time.
Maya Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at US President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Watch it below: