How Long Did Maya Angelou Live

Maya Angelou was an American writer, poet, and civil rights activist, best known for her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoir. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4th, 1928, and passed away in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on May 28th, 2014. Therefore, she lived for 86 years.

At first, Maya’s life was filled with a number of hardships and difficulties. She was raped at eight years old and as a result, she stopped speaking for five years. She was mentored by a special teacher, Mrs. Flowers, and it was her guidance which helped bring Maya out of her shell and eventually to develop her incredible writing skills.

At 16, Maya went to work for a Calypso singer named Alaskan Malihini. She joined the touring troupe and traveled the southern United States and Europe. After returning to the States, Maya married a Greek sailor and moved to Hawaii. While there, she worked as a newspaper columnist, radio show host, and composer. In 1957, she returned to New York and made her debut in a Broadway musical. It was this performance which soaringly cemented her place in American culture and opened up opportunities for her to pick up writing.

Throughout her expansive career, Maya wrote numerous autobiographies, educational works, fiction pieces, and best-selling poetry collections. Her 1979 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings catapulted her to international fame, and she earned several awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 2000.

In later life, Maya was an esteemed professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was also a leader in Afro-American history, appearing in several documentaries and documentaries. She also toured with her one-woman show, An Evening With Maya Angelou, which highlighted her unique brand of storytelling.

Maya Angelou wrote several influential works during her lifetime, which both educated and entertained. Her poetry, in particular, spoke to the struggles of Black Americans and resonated with a wide range of readers. Her life as an author, activist, and public figure lasted 86 years and will always be remembered as a testament to the power of resilience and hard work.

The Legacy

Though it has been six years since her death, Maya Angelou’s legacy still lives on today. She is celebrated annually in the United States in a special day known as “Maya Angelou Day”. Additionally, numerous schools have been established in her name and statues have been erected in her honor.

Maya’s works have been consistently influential throughout the literary world and many have been adapted into film, television and stage plays. She was also a pioneer in the American civil rights movement and her words are still echoed throughout pop culture today.

Angelou was extremely well-read and wrote about the importance of the written word in her famous poem, “Still I Rise”. She believed that books were an important vehicle for challenging existing beliefs and sparking social change, and her works undoubtedly had a large impact on how people viewed the world.

Her works have inspired people of all ages, races, and religions and her influence has been felt around the globe. From the United States to Europe, people have been touched by her powerful words and her inspiring life story.

Maya Angelou in Modern Society

Maya Angelou’s words and works remain relevant today, inspiring people all over the world to stand up for what they believe in. Her works have been translated into dozens of languages and are studied in classrooms around the world. She is still remembered as a beacon of hope, an example of strength and courage in the face of adversity, and a powerful voice for those who are often unheard.

Her poems in particular are still frequently quoted, showing just how powerful her words were and how much of an impact she had on the world. Whether it’s inspiring a new generation of writers or activists, Maya Angelou’s words are still inspiring people to make a positive difference in the world.

Maya Angelou is also remembered in other ways. In 2011, a bronze statue of her was installed in New Orleans in honor of her contributions to literature. Additionally, several educational programs have been established in her name, including the Maya Angelou School of Literature and Humanities in North Carolina and the Maya Angelou Scholars Program in Washington, DC.


Though she is sadly no longer with us, Maya Angelou’s legacy will live on for generations to come. Her words are timeless and her life story is an inspiration to many. She lived for 86 years, inspiring millions with her works and helping to create a better, more inclusive world for all.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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