Renowned poet, novelist, educator and actress Maya Angelou has died.
She passed at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. her publicist, Helen Brann has confirmed.
Born Marguerite Ann Johnson, Angelou is best known for famed literary works like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “And Still I Rise.”
Prior to becoming a civil rights activist, the St. Louis-bred icon was a singer, dancer and actress prior to establishing herself as a literary wonder.
In the 1950’s, Angelou released an album called “Miss Calypso,” a hybrid of pop and calypso music.
In 1996, Angelou recorded an album with friends Ashford & Simpson called “Been Found,” a combination of music, singing and spoken word.
Often referred to as Dr. Angelou, she never attended college. Angelou has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for many years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
Despite being a mother-like figure to many prominent women in media and the arts, Angelou is survived by her only child, Clyde “Guy” Johnson.