Obits: America’s Poet Laureate Maya Angelou Passes Away At 86

05.28.14 4 years ago 26 Comments

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“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading.”Maya Angelou

Certain people bless the world with their presence and transcend race more the great majority of us can ever hope. Singer, actress, editor, screenwriter, activist and all-around renaissance woman, Maya Angelou, passed away at the age of 86. Her agent, Helen Brann, confirmed the news to ABC.

“She’d been very frail and had heart problems, but she was going strong, finishing a new book,” said Brann. “I spoke to her yesterday. She was fine, as she always was. Her spirit was indomitable.”

As noted by Brann, Dr. Angelou’s physical well-being had been declining. Just two days ago, she reportedly pulled out of an honorary event for Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Game due to undisclosed health reasons. Angelou also was forced to cancel another appearance in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last month due to an unexpected ailment that caused a brief hospital stay.

Dr. Angelou’s Last Tweet

Not to come off as the guy who gives someone their roses while they’re no longer able to smell them, but by far the most admirable part of Angelou was my personal belief she had always been self-made. She created her legacy, impacted people through her own words and left a mark comparable to some of the finest revolutionaries to walk on the same dirt any of us did.

And to hit home in a more personal manner, who could forget the one girl in our elementary and/or middle school who performed either “Still I Rise” or “Phenomenal Woman” at talent shows like clockwork.

The point is her impact spoke to generations far beyond her own, certainly younger ones which is an unheralded accomplishment in its own. An old head once told me you’ll see how many people you impacted once you’re looking down at everyone from heaven and see people reflecting on your life who shows up to your funeral.

If that’s the case, expect Maya Angelou received her angel wings long before arriving at heaven’s gates.

Related: 13 Of Maya Angelou’s Best Quotes [USA Today]

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