Author, Poet Maya Angelou Dies At 86: Publisher
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[May 28, 2014]
By Colleen Jenkins
WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - American
author and poet Maya Angelou, who is best known for her groundbreaking
autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," has died at age 86 in
North Carolina, her publisher confirmed on Wednesday.
The prolific African-American writer penned more than 30 books,
won numerous awards, and was honored last year by the National Book
Awards for her service to the literary community.
"Dr. Angelou has passed in Winston-Salem," said Sally Marvin, of
No other details were immediately available.
Angelou provided eloquent commentary on race, gender and living life
to its fullest in poems and memoirs. Her latest work "Mom & Me &
Mom," about her mother and grandmother and what they taught her, was
released last year.
"She was beyond simply being a writer of autobiography and poetry. I
think she transcended the idea of writing and using writing as a
transcendence medium to further the individual," Harold Augenbraum,
the executive director of the National Book Foundation, told
"She was an extraordinary symbol in the United States of what can
accomplished using the arts," he added.
Wake Forest University also mourned the loss of Angelou.
"Dr. Angelou was a national treasure whose life and teachings
inspired millions around the world, including countless students,
faculty, and staff at Wake Forest, where she served as Reynolds
Professor of American Studies since 1982," the university said in a
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Angelouís family and friends
during this difficult time."
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It added that details about a campus memorial service will be
announced at a later date.
"I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings," a coming-of-age story in a hostile
society in the American South in the 1930s and '40s that deals with
racism and rape, is considered an American classic.
In addition to her many books, she was a Grammy winner for three
spoken-word albums. She had a home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina,
where she was a professor of American studies at Wake Forest
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Addtional reporting by Patricia
Reaney in New York and Bill Trott in Washington, DC; Editing by
Scott Malone and James Dalgleish)
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