(PCM) One of the world’s most beloved authors, poets, and civil rights activists Dr. Maya Angelou has sadly passed away today at the age of 86. Dr. Angelou’s body was discovered early this morning in her Winston-Salem, North Carolina home. The news of her passing was confirmed by Winston-Salem authorities and police did conduct an investigation of her home.
Dr. Angelou was humbly raised in a poverty-stricken environment and then over the years rose to the fame with the publishing of her first book “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” which became a best-seller and made Dr. Angelou the first African-American woman to write a best-selling novel.
Dr. Angelou was chosen at the poet to read at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton back in 1993, where she read her original composition “On The Pulse Of Morning” which also became a best-seller when published.
Dr. Angelou was born in Stamps, Arkansas on April 4th, 1928 and spent her youth living between Arkansas and San Francisco. It is rumored that she was sent to live in San Francisco after talking back to a white store clerk in Arkansas. She also refused to talk for several years after being raped by her mother’s boyfriend and it was during that traumatic time period that she learned to both read and write.
Dr. Angelou said that a woman took her to the black school library in their town and she read every book she could get her hands on, even if she could not yet understand the words. Dr. Angelou began writing poetry at the age of 9 and became a single mother at the age of 17. Throughout her 20’s, she worked in a strip club, ran a brothel and married Enistasious Tosh Angelos (the first of her three husbands) which ended in divorce.
In later year’s Dr. Angelou would go on to do work in theater where she coined her stage name Maya Angelou. She also did some work in both Egypt and Ghana where she met Malcom X and the two remained close friends until his assassination. Dr. Angelou also befriended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and assisted him with planning are civil rights march in Memphis, TN. Tragically, Dr. King was killed on what was Dr. Angelou’s 40th birthday.
Dr. Angelou has appeared on television many times over the years and was featured in the 1977 miniseries “Roots”. She has earned three Grammy’s for her spoken-word albums and received an honorary National Book Award in 2013 for her writing.
During the last few weeks, Dr. Angelou had cancelled several public appearances including the MLB’s Beacon Award Luncheon where she was being honored and another event that was scheduled to take place last month in Arkansas due to health concerns.
Our sincere condolences got out to Dr. Angelou’s family and friends during this difficult time.