Maya Angelou poses with a copy of her book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," in Los Angeles, November 3, 1971. Angelou, a Renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, has died. She was 86.
Born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an
American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three
books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a
list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty
years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral
degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies,
which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou
publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a
spokesperson of black people and women, and her works have been
considered a defense of black culture. Although attempts have been made
to ban her books from some US libraries, her works are widely used in
schools and universities worldwide.