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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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285 COMMENTS

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61.

Dee    

Rest well ma'am.

111 days ago
62.

Melissa B    

Figure I'd add to the poems I see everyone posting by Maya Angelou. This is titled, ALONE.

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Maya Angelou
Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
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111 days ago
63.

Niecey    

RIP.. she will truthfully be missed... :( prayers sent out ot her family.

111 days ago
64.

loukia    

rihp you will be missed

111 days ago
65.

cmg    

Wow! She was aan amazing and very smart woman. She will be so missed.

111 days ago
66.

Ashley    

A true literary legend. R.I.P to a wonderful woman.

111 days ago
67.

Peggy    

She was famous for one reason only. Ever hear her read any of her "poems"?

111 days ago
68.

Unbroken Chain    

What a wonderful American. Sad to see her go. I'll never forget her at Clinton's inauguration. Now that is talent, rappers should take notice of real talent

111 days ago
69.

Jah36    

Sounds like she peddled a lot of smut. RIP though.

111 days ago
70.

Truth    

"all you here who are dumping so much praise on her probably have never read a single thing she has" --- They're a bunch of sheep. They couldn't quote this lady without a Google, if their lives depended on it.

111 days ago
71.

Truth    

"and this is news in the thirty mile zone around Hollywood because????" --- Because TMZ is also a left wing propaganda outlet. This lady is one of those people that everyone is commanded to salute.

111 days ago
72.

NY girl in Puerto Rico    

So sad to hear this, she is such an inspiration to woman everywhere. I can't imagine how Oprah must be feeling, she was like a mother to her. God bless her soul and may she rest in eternal peace.

111 days ago
73.

Briana Baldwin    

Wow... even in death Ms. Angelou u have many haters smh. I've been following her work for 15 yrs and I'm almost sure that her work will make Houx look like an illiterate who will never measure up. No one will ever know who u are. You are the quintessential American, hating what u don't understand and stomping on what others do. Smh...

111 days ago
74.

ms.b    

RIP you will be missed . You are one truly phenomenal Woman .Im so glad that you have left us with so many memories an wonderful poems to remember you by .your words and poems are like the birds singing in the trees and music to my soul. Thank you

111 days ago
75.

Lauren    

Aww sad.

111 days ago
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