American Literary Icon Maya Angelou Dead at 86

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Maya Angelou, American literary icon and civil rights advocate, has reportedly died at the age of 86-years-old. Angelou was found unresponsive in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


The tragic passing was confirmed by her agent Helen Brann, who spoke to ABC News this morning.

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

Angelou is best known for her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." She was also an acclaimed playwright, poet and scholar, and was present at both John F. Kennedy’s and Bill Clinton’s inaugurations, the latter of which she recited her own poem “On the Pulse of Morning.”

She served as inspiration to countless of artists. Amongst them is comedian Dave Chappelle, who interviewed her in 2006 for the Sundance TV program Iconoclast. In the interview, Chappelle asked her what made it possible for Angelou to accomplish so much. Her response? Love.

“Love is a condition so powerful it may be that which holds the stars in the firmament,” she said.


Details of her arrangement have yet to be released.

Fidel Martinez is an editor at He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.