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Maya Angelou, the American author and poet died

May 30, 2014 10:10 IST

Maya AngelouMaya Angelou, a renowned American author and poet died on 28 May 2014 at her home in Winston-Salem of North Carolina. She was 86.

She wrote her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969. The book is an illustration of the setbacks, she underwent as a child and teenager that includes poverty, sexual abuse and guilt about a man who was murdered. The book became a best seller and was nominated for a National Book Award.

In her lifetime, she published 36 books that included seven autobiographies, volumes of poetry, essay collection, cookbooks and children books.

About Maya Angelou
• During her extreme poverty she performed on stage and screen in 1950s and 1960s as singer, dancer and actor and also released an album of Calypso music
• For former two Presidents of the US, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, she read her poems titled Amazing Peace at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House and in 1993 On the Pulse of the Morning during Clinton’s first Presidential inauguration, respectively
• She was the first African-American female street car conductor in San Francisco, where she attended high school and studied dance and drama
• She was born in 1928 as Marguerite Johnson and has led her life in several different forms like as a newspaper editor in Egypt, a cook and a prostitute when she was a poor single mother, wrote screenplays for movie and television
• She has illustrated her nomadic and desperate life as a single mother, when she worked as a prostitute in her book Gather Together in My Name that was published in 1974
• She was awarded with 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian award by the President Barack Obama on February 2011

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