When Did Maya Angelou Die And When Was She Born

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928) was a prominent African-American poet, author, and civil rights activist. She died on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. During her lifetime, she wrote and published some of the most memorable and inspiring literature of her time.

One of Maya Angelou’s most recognizable works is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (1970), a memoir of her own life’s travails, from her experience as a young African-American woman striving for education and self-mastery to her work in the civil rights movement. This landmark work remains one of the most widely-read texts in modern literature and won Angelou several awards, including the 1993 National Women’s Hall of Fame Award.

Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928, and spent much of her early life in rural Arkansas. She moved away to San Francisco to work in the civil rights movement, performing in numerous plays and writing her seminal works while living in Harlem, New York. Throughout her career, she received countless awards and recognition, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and being named one of the best-selling African American authors of all time.

Angelou was a gifted and prolific speaker, providing rousing and often inspiring words at events such as the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993. She was also passionate about helping others and advocating for the rights of marginalized people, unafraid to speak out on issues of race, politics, and gender equality. Angelou passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on May 28, 2014.

Angelou is perhaps best remembered for her remarkable contributions to literature but her life and her legacy, which reverberated worldwide, are equally impressive. Throughout her life, Maya Angelou celebrated the resilience of the human spirit and voice, inspiring others with her work and message.


Maya Angelou earned numerous awards and accolades throughout her lifetime, including 30 honorary degrees, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was named one of the most influential women of the twentieth century and received numerous literary awards for her works, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her 1971 collection of essays Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, and a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the original production of Look Away in 1973.

Angelou also served on several boards, most notably the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Council of Women of the United States. In 2011, she received the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama.

Angelou was also honored with numerous posthumous awards and accolades, including induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Arts and Letters Award, and the National Book Award. Her work has been celebrated the world round with numerous memorials and tributes in her name, including the recently dedicated Maya Angelou Forever Garden in Fayetteville, North Carolina.


Maya Angelou was an avid philanthropist who used her works and her stature to help those in need. Throughout her life, she served on several boards, including the National Council of the Arts, the United Negro College Fund, and the International Foundation for Universal Responsibility. She also used her platform to champion causes she believed in, such as gender equality, civil rights, and health initiatives for African Americans.

Angelou founded several initiatives and supported many causes, such as the I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Foundation, which provided scholarship and resources to young African-American women. She was also a board member of the Entertainment Industries Council, which advocated for social responsibility in film and television, and a strong advocate of HIV/AIDS research and education. In 1998, she received the Gloria Steinem Women of Vision Award, recognizing her tireless work in empowering underserved women.


Maya Angelou left behind an impressive and lasting legacy. Her works appear in the curriculum of universities around the world and her words of wisdom and encouragement continue to impact and inspire generations of people. The power of her words and her poetic philosophy made her works timeless and her passion for justice and equality have carved out a place for her in the history books.

Her life was marked by success and recognition, but Angelou was always humble and down-to-earth. She assisted many causes and charities, and worked for positive change in the world, even in her later years. Her legacy of motivation, courage, and strength remain unparalleled and continue to remind the world to never stop striving for progress.


Maya Angelou’s influence extended beyond the literary world and into all facets of society. Her works have been interpreted in various visual and theatrical forms, such as documentaries, ballets, and operas. Angelou was also an ardent social advocate and her presence encouraged the advancement of civil and racial justice.

Her influence was also acknowledged by her peers and her mentors, including the notable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights activists. In a documentary on Angelou, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor praised her for “striking down racial boundaries,” and credited Angelou for inspiring her to pursue her own life path. Angelou’s works continue to be an inspiration for many activists, poets, and writers.


Angelou’s works have been both critically acclaimed and widely appreciated throughout the years. She has been widely recognized for her groundbreaking works which have deeply impacted modern literature and philosophy. Her words challenged and reshaped the understanding of race and deeply resonated with people around the world.

In addition, Angelou served as a model of fortitude and courage and an outstanding example of perseverance. Her life story provided hope to many people who had endured struggles and her writings provided uplifting stories of redemption and survival. Her works continue to educate generations to come and continue to enthrall readers with their striking and powerful messages.

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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