BREAKING: America's Poet Laureate Maya Angelou Dies at 86
TMZ is reporting that America's Poet Laureate Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. According to the site, the poet died last night, May 27th in a Winston-Salem, North Carolina hospital while recovering from an "unexpected ailment". She died surrounded by her family.
Angelou has received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities worldwide. She is perhaps best known for her 1969 book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", which tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
The poet was set to be honored this Friday, May 30th in Houston where she was going to be given the Beacon of Life Award.
Among her many famous quotes is - "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."
Below, watch video footage of Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the 1993 Presidential Inaugural. This footage is official public record produced by the White House Television
Angelou published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.
She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, night-club dancer and performer, cast-member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the days of decolonization. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs.
Since 1982, she taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Since the 1990s she made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at PresidentBill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.
A complete list of Maya Angelou's works follows:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-50789-2
Gather Together in My Name (1974). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-48692-5
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-45777-0
The Heart of a Woman (1981). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-8129-8032-5
All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-73404-8
A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-50747-2
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou (2004). New York: Modern Library. ISBN 978-0-679-64325-8
Mom & Me & Mom (2013). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6611-7
Maya Angelou, reciting her poem, "On the Pulse of Morning", at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993
Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie (1971). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-47142-6
Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well (1975). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-45707-0
And Still I Rise (1978). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-50252-6
Shaker, Why Don't You Sing? (1983). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-52144-7
Poems (1986). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-553-25576-2
Now Sheba Sings the Song (1987). New York: Plume Books. ISBN 0-452-27143-6
I Shall Not Be Moved (1990). New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-35458-2
"On the Pulse of Morning" (1993). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-74838-5
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-42895-X
Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women (1995). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-43924-2
A Brave and Startling Truth (1995). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-44904-3
"From a Black Woman to a Black Man", 1995
"Amazing Peace" (2005). New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6558-5
"Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me" (2006). New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6601-8
"Celebrations, Rituals of Peace and Prayer" (2006). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-307-77792-8
Poetry for Young People (2007). Berkshire, U.K.: Sterling Books. ISBN 1-4027-2023-8
"We Had Him", 2009
"His Day is Done", 2012
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (1993). New York: Random House.
Even the Stars Look Lonesome (1997). New York: Random House.
Letter to My Daughter (2008). New York: Random House.
Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes (2004). New York: Random House.
Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart (2010). New York: Random House.
Life Doesn't Frighten Me (1993). New York: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang.
My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me (1994). New York: Knopf Books.
Kofi and His Magic (1996). New York: Knopf Books.
Maya's World series (2004). New York: Random House:
Cabaret for Freedom (musical revue), with Godfrey Cambridge, 1960
The Least of These, 1966
The Best of These (drama), 1966
Gettin' up Stayed on My Mind, 1967
Sophocles, Ajax (adaptation), 1974
And Still I Rise (writer/director), 1976
Film and television
Black, Blues, Black! (ten one-hour programs, National Education Television), 1968
Georgia, Georgia, Sweden, 1972
All Day Long (writer/director), 1974
PBS documentaries (1975):
Who Cares About Kids & Kindred Spirits (KERA-TV, Dallas, Texas)
Maya Angelou: Rainbow in the Clouds (WTVS-TV, Detroit, Michigan)
To the Contrary (Maryland Public Television)
Tapestry and Circles
Assignment America (six one-half hour programs), 1975
Part One: The Legacy; Part Two: The Inheritors (writer and host), 1976
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (writer for script and musical score), 1979
Sister, Sister (writer), 20th Century Fox Television, 1982
Brewster Place (writer), ABC, 1990
Down in the Delta (director), Miramax Films, 1998
Films and plays
Porgy and Bess, 1954-1955
The Blacks, 1960
Mother Courage, 1964
Look Away, 1973
Roots, ABC, 1977
Runaway, Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, 1993
Touched by an Angel ("Reunion"), CBS, 1995
How to Make an American Quilt, Universal Pictures, 1995
Madea's Family Reunion, Tyler Perry Studios, 2006
Miss Calypso, Scamp Records, 1957
For the Love of Ivy, ABC Records, 1968
The Poetry of Maya Angelou, GWP Records, 1969
Women in Business, 1981
On the Pulse of Morning, Random House Audio, 1993
Been Found (with Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson), Ichiban Old Indie, 1996
A Song Flung Up to Heaven, Random House Audio, 2002
Talk show host, Oprah and Friends, XM Satellite Radio, launched 2006