Marvelous Maya: 15 Inspiring Maya Angelou Photos

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    A picture of author and poet Maya Angelou is seen in a mural by artist Paul Deo in the Harlem section of New York.
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    First Lady Michelle Obama (L) stands by BET honoree author Maya Angelou at the BET Honors in Washington January 14, 2012
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    Oprah Winfrey (R) laughs with poet Maya Angelou during the taping of "Oprah's Surprise Spectacular" in Chicago May 17, 2011.
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    Maya Angelou receives a Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington on February 15, 2011.
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    Poet Maya Angelou is escorted by former U.S. president Bill Clinton (R) to accept a 2009 Glamour Women of the Year award during the magazine's annual award show in New York on November 9, 2009.
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    U.S. President Barack Obama listens as Maya Angelou reads during the funeral service for civil rights leader Dorothy Height at the National Cathedral in Washington on April 29, 2010.
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    Archbishop Desmond Tutu (L) hugs poet Maya Angelou during a ceremony to honor Tutu with the J. William Fulbright Prize for the International Understanding Award in Washington on November 21, 2008
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    Poet and activist Dr. Maya Angelo gives a thumbs up to the delegation after her speech during the second night of the Democratic National Convention at the FleetCenter in Boston on July 27, 2004.
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    Historian and educator Dr. Maya Angelou speaks with a reporter following the unveiling of the immersive exhibition, "Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves" at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2003.
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    Publisher and talk show host Oprah Winfrey (L) rests her head on the shoulder of poet and author Maya Angelou (R) during a photo opportunity on May 5, 2001, before the two participated in a one-on-one dialogue at the Simmons Graduate School of Management Leadership Conference in Boston.
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    Maya Angelou attends the premiere screening of "A House Divided" at the Georgia Governor's mansion in Atlanta on July 25, 2000. Coretta Scott King is at right.
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    Poet Maya Angelou (R) poses with performers at the Walt Disney Resort's Epcot Center on September 30, 1999, before she took part in the dedication of the new Millennium Village in Orlando. Angelou read poetry during dedication ceremonies. The new exhibit contains an Israeli exhibit which has sparked controversy.
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    Maya Angelou (C) speaks at funeral services for Coretta Scott King as U.S. President George Bush and his wife Laura listen at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia February 7, 2006. Coretta Scott King was the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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    South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (L) kisses the hand of poet Maya Angelou during a ceremony to honor Tutu with the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding Award in Washington, on November 21, 2008.
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    Poet Maya Angelou is escorted by former U.S. president Bill Clinton (R) to accept a 2009 Glamour Women of the Year award during the magazine's annual award show in New York November 9, 2009. Angelou joined U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, British fashion designer Stella McCartney and nine others on Monday to be honored as "Women of the Year."
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Dr. Maya Angelou, the beloved writer, poet and activist, passed away early Wednesday morning at her Winston-Salem, N.C., home.

With her powerful words that encouraged and inspired generations of people around the world, Angelou authored numerous works of memoir and poetry, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie.” During her lifetime, she was honored with many awards, including a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play "Look Away," three Grammy awards for her spoken-word albums, the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Angelou went on to receive over 30 honorary degrees in honor of her celebrated literary works. And in celebration of her phenomenal life, above we’ve gathered 15 inspiring photos of the extraordinary Maya Angelou. 

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