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Maya Angelou

America's Poet Laureate Dead at 86

5/28/2014 6:14 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Maya Angelou Dead
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8:10 AM PT --
Angelou's family just posted on her Facebook page, "Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love."

9:50 AM PT -- President Obama calls Angelou "one of the brightest lights of our time" ... in a statement he just released. He added, "Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya."
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Maya Angelou
 -- one of America's most famous poets -- has died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina while recovering from a mystery sickness.

Angelou had been recovering from an "unexpected ailment." We're told paramedics got a 911 call at 7:39 A.M. from someone reporting a death at her home. She died with family by her side.

In a Facebook post yesterday, she said doctors had advised her not to travel ... forcing her to cancel a planned trip to Houston ... where Maya was to be honored Friday with the Beacon of Life Award at Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game.

The famed author has received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities around the world. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Her most famous book -- "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" -- was also her most controversial ... for its depiction of lesbians, premarital sex, and porn.

Oprah Winfrey has called Angelou her mentor -- they met while Oprah was working in local news in Baltimore in the 80s.

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Angelou famously spoke at Bill Clinton's 1993 Inauguration ... reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning." 

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Angelou was one of the most inspiring poets of our time -- most famously 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."

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284 COMMENTS

No Avatar
46.

Jules1916    

What a beautiful and beloved woman!! RIP!!

126 days ago
47.

Y.T. Houx    

she was a very poor poet, she was only noted because she was a BLAK poet, not because she was a good poet. if she were white she would not have had anything published. now they will be pushing for a national holiday. blaks, the only participants in the special olympics of life!

126 days ago
48.

V    

RIP what an amazing woman. She embodied what Martin Luther King Jr was fighting for. She was seen by much of the world not as a black woman but as an incredibly wise woman who had the skill of a master artist painting with her words.

126 days ago
49.

T.K    

My heart and prayer's goes out to the family But God knows best Ms.Angelou was a great poet and will be sadly missed.

126 days ago
50.

Toilethead    

A great lady who will be missed.

126 days ago
51.

BG    

What a PHENOMENAL legacy she left, her words will forever stand the test of time...

126 days ago
52.

Y.T. Houx    

she was a very poor poet, she was only noted because she was a BLAK poet, not because she was a good poet. if she were white she would not have had anything published. now they will be pushing for a national holiday. blaks, the only participants in the special olympics of life!

126 days ago
53.

Melissa B    

That is so sad. May she RIP. She inspired many. That last quote you gave she said about how you make people feel is awesome and true. As someone said on here, a true Legend.

126 days ago
54.

Louise    

Very very nice TMZ

126 days ago
55.

Devin    

Special lady

126 days ago
56.

Devin    

Special lady

126 days ago
57.

jade ava    

This was a REAL LEGEND! RIP MAYA!

126 days ago
58.

Luz    

Rest I peace, Maya Angelou, and thank you for your messages of love.

126 days ago
59.

Y.T. Houx    

all you here who are dumping so much praise on her probably have never read a single thing she has written. well i have and it is crap, amateurish, simple minded. she gets a pass because she is blak, not because she is good. you all should be ashamed of yourselves for being so intellectually dishonest.

126 days ago
60.

Usagi-chan    

What?! No snark ? Tmz matures!

126 days ago
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