American author and poet Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86, CBS confirmed early Wednesday. Her literary agent said she died at her North Carolina home. The acclaimed writer was born Marguerite Annie Johnson April 4, 1928, in St. Louis.
Angelou had a number of achievements during her lifetime, including reciting her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at former President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie,” a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play "Look Away," and three Grammy awards for her spoken-word albums. In 2011, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Angelou has been honored by universities and organizations around the world, and has more than 30 honorary degrees due to her exceptional legacy.
Here are some of Maya Angelou’s most memorable quotes:
1. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
2. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
3. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
4. “In all my work, I try to say - 'You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?'”
5. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
6. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
7. “No sun outlasts its sunset but will rise again and bring the dawn.”
8. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
9. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
10. “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.”
11. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”