Maya Angelou: Life Story, Bio and Facts

Who is Maya Angelou?

Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, and civil rights activist. She was born in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri and had a difficult childhood, including a period of time where she was mute for several years. She began her career as a singer and dancer and later became a civil rights activist, working with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Angelou's writing career began in the 1960s, with the publication of her first autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in 1969. The book was critically acclaimed and was nominated for the National Book Award. She went on to write several other books, including poetry, essays, and further volumes of autobiography, and was considered one of the most renowned and influential voices in modern literature.


Angelou was also a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement, and her work often dealt with themes of identity, race, and the human condition. She was also a sought-after speaker and gave many lectures and speeches, including a poem at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.

Angelou received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including several honorary degrees, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Lincoln Medal. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 86.

Maya Angelou Fast Facts

* Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and spent much of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas.
* She began her career as a singer and dancer before becoming a civil rights activist in the 1960s, working with figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
* In 1969, Angelou published her first book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," an autobiographical account of her childhood and early adult years. The book was a critical and commercial success and established Angelou as a prominent author and speaker.
* Angelou went on to publish several more books, including several volumes of poetry, essays, and several other autobiographies.
* She was also a respected and sought-after speaker, and gave lectures at colleges and universities across the United States.
* Angelou was also a playwright, director, and actor, and appeared in several films and television shows.
* In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton, making her the first African American and the first woman to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration.
* Angelou received numerous honors throughout her career, including over 30 honorary degrees, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Lincoln Medal.
* Maya Angelou is remembered as a powerful voice for civil rights and equality, and her work continues to inspire and influence people around the world.
* She was also an important figure in American literature and poetry, and her works have been widely studied in schools and universities.
* Angelou was also a vocal advocate for women's rights and equality, and her work often explored themes of race, identity, and the human experience.
* She was a mentor and friend to many, including Oprah Winfrey, and has been an inspiration to countless people with her powerful words, wisdom and her personal journey.
* Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the age of 86.
* Her legacy continues to live on through her books, poetry, speeches, and her work as a civil rights activist. Her words and teachings are still widely quoted and shared, and continue to inspire people to this day.

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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