On This Day

Maya Angelou

Author, Poet and Activist Maya Angelou

Full Name: Marguerite Annie Johnson
Profession: Author, Poet and Activist

United States of America

Biography: Revered globally for her poetry and her commitment to civil rights Maya Angelou was best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focused on her childhood.

The first, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition. Her books were centred around themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.

As a respected spokesperson for black people and women, her works have been considered a defense of Black culture. She was also active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

Born: April 4, 1928
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Star Sign: Aries

Died: May 28, 2014 (aged 86)

Married Life

  • 1951-07-03 Author Maya Angelou (23) weds Thomas J. Angelos
  • 1974-01-18 Author Maya Angelou (45) weds Paul Bernard Du Feu

Historical Events

  • 1993-01-20 Maya Angelou is 1st African American and woman to recite a poem at inauguration of a US President - "On the Pulse of Morning" for Bill Clinton
  • 2011-02-15 US President Barack Obama awards writer and activist Maya Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • 2022-01-10 The US Mint issues quarter coins commemorating poet Maya Angelou, first black woman to be depicted

Quotes by Maya Angelou

  • "I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life."

Biographies and Sources