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    Maya Angelou biography in three minutes: US poet laureate dead at 86

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    American poet, writer, activist, and all around icon Maya Angelou passed away quietly in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 86 today. She lead a life that saw her rise from the abject poverty and racism of the Jim Crow South in the 1930's to becoming the person that the world's most influential people called on for their inspiration.

    Called "The People's Poet" by many, she was born in St Louis, Missouri as Marguerite Johnson and spent much of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas. She suffered sexual abuse from her mother's live-in boyfriend at the age of 7, but felt guilty after the man was murdered, thinking it was her fault after telling her brother of the abuse. She didn't speak to anyone for five years, until a teacher introduced her to the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare.

    From then on, she led her life by a few rules:
    "Nothing works, until you do."
    "You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone."
    "Have enough courage to true love one more time, and always one more time."
    And of course many, many more she'd go on to become famous for.

    She lead a lifetime of lifetimes, and shared her wisdom gained from both her triumphs and failures, letting us know that you have to have equal amounts of both to be truly successful.

    Yesterday we all knew why the caged bird sang. Now the dove has flown away to begin her next journey.


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