The influential poet and author Maya Angelou died at her home in North Carolina Wednesday morning, her son said.
She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928 and wrote about her challenging childhood in her book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which garnered critical acclaim and is a part of many school reading lists — but has been banned from others. Angelou was also an actress and singer, and her success included invitations to read her work at several presidential inaugurations.
Since 1982, she was the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University after having worked in various occupations, ranging from fry cook to journalist to dancer, during her life. Her writing explores many themes, including identity, racism and family.