Maya Angelou, a well-known poet and author, has passed away at the age of 86 at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her cause of death was due to “health reasons.” Less than a week ago, Angelou backed out of attending the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards luncheon, where she was expected to be honored for her role in the civil rights movement.
Angelou wrote 30 books including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Angelou also wrote a number of plays and movies. She was the first female African-American director in Hollywood as well.
Angelou dropped out of school at age 14 and became San Francisco’s youngest African-American cable car conductor.
Here is a statement that President Obama released about Angelou’s passing:
When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that ?No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.?
Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time ? a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman. Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things ? an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller ? and her greatest stories were true. A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking ? but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves. In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.
Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God?s children; that we all have something to offer. And while Maya?s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, ?flung up to heaven? ? and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.