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US poet Maya Angelou dies at 86

Published on May 28, 2014 9:54 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Celebrated African-American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died, the North Carolina university where she taught said Wednesday. She was 86.

"Today members of the Wake Forest University community mourn the loss of beloved poet, author, actress, civil rights activist and professor Dr Maya Angelou," it said in a statement.

Mayor Allen Joines of Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Fox TV affiliate WGHP in the southern state that Angelou was found dead on Wednesday morning by her caretaker.

Angelou is best known for her autobiographies that focused on her childhood and early adulthood, including I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings from 1969.

US poet Maya Angelou speaks during a ceremony to honour South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding Award in Washington on Nov 21, 2008. Angelou has died at the age of 86, US media said on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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