U.S. poet Maya Angelou speaks during a ceremony to honor South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding Award in Washington, Nov. 21, 2008. Reuters

American author and poet Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86, CBS confirmed on Wednesday morning. Her literary agent said she died at her North Carolina home. The acclaimed writer was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928.