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Maya Angelou dies aged 86 | 28-May-14

Maya Angelou, the American poet and author, has died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina today (Wednesday 28th May).

Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928, the author and poet was best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. 

Although best known for her autobiographies, she was also a prolific and successful poet. She was called "the black woman's poet laureate", and her poems have been called the anthems of African Americans. Angelou studied and began writing poetry at a young age, and used poetry and other great literature to cope with her rape as a young girl, as described in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Maya Angelou was awarded over 30 honorary degrees in her lifetime and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie

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