Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014)
Author, poet, dancer, actress & singer
Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Johnson on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. Maya Angelou became one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. With over 50 honorary doctorate degrees Dr. Maya Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Dr. Maya Angelou received over 50 honorary degrees and was the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University for more than 25 years.
Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees. President Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993. Dr. Angelou’s reading of her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” was broadcast live around the world.
Dr. Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000. In 2000, Maya Angelou received the National Medal of Arts. She penned the poem Amazing Peace for President George W. Bush and delivered the poem at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
President Barack Obama presented her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor in 2010.