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Legendary author Maya Angelou dies at age 86

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Maya Angelou was a voice for the ages. She was respected around the world, and one of the most prolific thinkers and poets of her time. That voice will ring from beyond the grave for hundreds of years, now that her physical body has perished at the age of 86.

According to CNN, Angelou died in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina this week. Her literary agent, Helen Brann, released the bad news, which is a shock to the system for anyone who is familiar with her extraordinary work.

Angelou was the winner of the Medal of Freedom, granted to her in 2010 by President Barack Obama, which is the highest honor that can bestowed on any citizen. One of her most famous books was, “I know why the caged bird sings.”

Angelou started her early years studying dance and drama, but stopped at the age of 14. She then went on to become San Francisco’s first black female cable car conductor.

Angelou made the wise decision to return to school to finish her diploma and gave birth right after graduation. As a 17-year old single mother, she waited tables and also pursued her interests in music and dance.

In the 1950s, Angelou toured Europe as part of a production of the famed stage play “Porgy and Bess.
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” She also recorded an album in 1957 called “Miss Calypso.”

Although she never went to college, Angelou spoke six languages and received over 30 honorary degrees. She was so fluent that she served as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana.

“I created myself,” she said. “I have taught myself so much.”

“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading,” Angelou said.

Angelou is not a caged bird any longer and now sings and flies with the angels for all eternity.  Rest in peace Miss Angelou, you will be remembered always.