How Old Was Maya Angelou When She Died

Maya Angelou was a renowned American author, poet, and civil rights activist whose work continues to inspire and empower people around the world. Her life and legacy have had a profound impact on literature and social justice movements.

However, her life was cut short in 2014, leaving a void in the literary world. In this article, we will explore the life and legacy of Maya Angelou and the circumstances surrounding her passing.

Early Life and Career:

Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up in a segregated and racially charged America, where she faced many challenges and obstacles.

At the age of eight, Maya was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, which traumatized her for years. Her love for literature and writing helped her cope with the trauma and find her voice.

In the 1950s, Maya Angelou began her career as a singer and dancer, traveling throughout Europe and Africa with the touring company of the opera “Porgy and Bess.” She later became a civil rights activist and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Her experiences as an activist and her passion for social justice inspired her writing.

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Literary Career and Achievements:

Maya Angelou’s literary career spanned over five decades and produced numerous works that challenged and inspired readers. Her most famous work is the memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which chronicles her early years and the challenges she faced as a young black girl in the Jim Crow South.

The book was a critical and commercial success and is still widely read and taught in schools today.

In addition to her memoir, Maya Angelou wrote poetry, essays, and screenplays. Her poetry collection “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1972.

Maya Angelou’s accomplishments and contributions to literature and civil rights were widely recognized and celebrated during her lifetime. She received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

The Circumstances of Maya Angelou’s Death:

Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. The cause of her death was not immediately disclosed, but it was later revealed that she had suffered from heart problems.

Maya Angelou’s passing was mourned by people around the world who had been touched by her writing and her activism. President Barack Obama issued a statement praising her as “one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.”

Legacy and Impact:

Maya Angelou’s legacy and impact continue to be felt today. Her writing, activism, and commitment to social justice continue to inspire and empower people around the world.

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Her life and work have had a profound impact on literature and civil rights movements, and she is remembered as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century.

Maya Angelou’s impact on literature and social justice is also reflected in the numerous honors and awards she received during her lifetime. In addition to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Maya Angelou received the National Medal of Arts, the Lincoln Medal, and the Langston Hughes Medal, among others.


In conclusion, Maya Angelou’s life and work continue to inspire and empower people around the world. Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles, she persevered and became one of the most important and influential writers of the 20th century.

Her literary works, activism, and commitment to social justice have had a profound impact on literature and civil rights movements, and her legacy continues to live on. Maya Angelou’s passing in 2014 was a great loss, but her contributions to literature and social justice will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come.


  • Vipul Kapoor

    I am a final year student pursuing Btech degree in Computer Science. Talking about my skillset I am well versed with technologies like Machine Learning, Blockchain. Apart from this, I also have a passion of content writing

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