Maya Angelou was a poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist from the United States. During her lifetime, she authored seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and many books of poetry, and she is also credited with a long list of plays, movies, and television shows. She was well-known for her seven autobiographies, which focused on her upbringing and early adulthood. She became a poet and writer after working as a fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, Porgy and Bess cast member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference coordinator, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during Africa’s decolonization.
She was also an actor, playwright, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television shows. She was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement and collaborated with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She openly exposed portions of her personal life with the publishing of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings debuted at number one on Amazon.com’s bestselling list a week after Angelou’s death. Her books cover topics such as racism, identity, family, and travel. Maya is also known for her feminist ideals, which are expressed in her famous poem “Phenomenal Woman.” On May 28, 2014, she died at the age of 86.
How Did Maya Angelou Die?
Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. Her nurse discovered her. Despite apparently being in terrible health and canceling previously scheduled appearances, Angelou was working on another book, an autobiography about her interactions with national and world leaders. Her son Guy Johnson remarked during her funeral service at Wake Forest University that despite being in continual agony owing to her dance career and respiratory failure, she published four books in the last ten years of her life. “She exited this mortal realm with no loss of clarity or comprehension,” he stated. Artists, entertainers, and world leaders sent tributes and condolences to Angelou, including Barack Obama, whose sister was named after Angelou, and Bill Clinton. The National Book Foundation’s Harold Augenbraum stated that Angelou’s “legacy is one that all writers and readers throughout the world may respect and aspire to.”
Maya Angelou is the first Black lady to be honored in the United States quarter. It is the first of the American Women Quarters Program to be launched. East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who led the initiative to develop the coins, spoke with KRON4. You might soon be holding a historic coin in your hands. This week, the US Mint began delivering the coins. “I’m simply delighted because the public only sees the founding fathers, and now they’ll be able to see women, women of color, and our first coin is our beloved Dr. Maya Angelou,” Lee added. Lee was a co-author of the measure that established the first American Women Quarters Program. Angelou is the first of six female awardees whose coins will circulate until 2025. She is shown with her arms up and a bird in flight behind her.
- Being a poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist in the United States.
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, the first in her famed series of seven autobiographies, was her magnum achievement.
- For speaking out against racial preconceptions and her work as a civil rights activist.
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Marguerite Annie Johnson was her given name. She was of American nationality, and her ethnic origin was mixed, as she was of African-American descent with a possible 1/8th Irish lineage. Her ethnicity was black. She recently celebrated her 86th birthday with family and friends. Her Zodiac sign was Aries, and she practiced Christianity. She was born to Bailey Johnson, her father, and Vivian Baxter Johnson, her mother. Her father worked as a doorman and Navy Dietitian, while her mother was a nurse and card player. Bailey Johnson Jr., her older brother, was also a sibling.
With an emphasis on education, she graduated from the California Labor School. She then went to George Washington High School. She had never attended college, yet she had acquired almost fifty honorary degrees in her lifetime.
|Celebrated Name||Maya Angelou|
|Age||94 Years old.|
|Birth Name||Marguerite Annie Angelou|
|Place Of Birth||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Mother||Vivian Baxter Johnson|
|Brothers||Bailey Johnson Jr.|
|School||California Labor School|
|High School||George Washington High School|
|Husband||Tosh Angelos (Ex) and Paul du Feu (Ex)|
|Net Worth||$10 Million|
|Source of Wealth||Books and Poet Career|
|Height||5 ft 5 in|
Maya Angelou Career and Life Story
- Maya Angelou began her dance career by taking modern dance courses, where she met performers and choreographers Alvin Ailey and Ruth Beckford. The trio established a dance group called “Al and Rita.”
- She began professionally dancing in clubs in 1954, notably The Purple Onion, where she sang and danced to calypso music.
- Between 1954 and 1955, she toured Europe with a performance of Porgy and Bess.
- Following that, she released her first album, “Miss Calypso,” which was later reissued on CD in 1996.
- She then appeared in an off-Broadway revue that inspired the 1957 film “Calypso Heat Wave.”
- In 1959, she was introduced to popular author John Oliver Killens. On John’s advice, she joined the “Harlem Writers Guild” and began writing.
- In 1960, she met civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. She co-hosted a musical event called “Cabaret for Freedom” with Novelist, Killens to support the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
- In 1961, she appeared in Jean Genet’s drama “The Blacks.”
- She was also a staff member at “The Arab Observer,” where she worked as an assistant editor.
- She then worked as an administrator at the University of Ghana and was involved in the African-American ex-pat community. She was also a feature editor for The African Review.
- She met social revolutionary Malcolm X in Ghana. She returned to the United States to help him establish the “Organization of Afro-American Unity.” She relocated to Hawaii after Malcolm’s murder to live with her brother.
- In 1967, she moved to New York and began writing. During this time, she wrote and performed in several plays.
- Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged her to plan a march in 1968. She accepted but postponed again, and he was slain on her 40th birthday, in what Gillespie calls a “macabre twist of fate” (April 4).
- She then wrote, produced, and narrated “Blacks, Blues, Black!” for National Educational Television, the precursor to PBS, a ten-part documentary series about the connection between blues music and Black Americans’ African heritage, as well as what Angelou called the “Africanisms still current in the United States.”
- She published her first autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” in 1969, which catapulted her to celebrity.
- She became the first black woman to compose a film script when she wrote the screenplay for “Georgia, Georgia” in 1972.
- In 1974, her second autobiography, “Gather Together in My Name,” was released. After two years, she published her second autobiography, “Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas.”
- She was also cast in “Roots” in 1977. Following that, she published two additional memoirs, “The Heart of a Woman” and “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes.”
- She then became a lecturer at ‘Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where she held the ‘Reynolds Professorship of American Studies.’
- She then directed “Moon,” an Errol John play that was staged at London’s ‘Almeida Theatre.’
- In 1993, President Bill Clinton invited her to perform her poem “On the Pulse of Morning.”
- In June 1995, she read what Richard Long dubbed her “second ‘public’ poetry,” “A Brave and Startling Truth,” commemorating the United Nations’ 50th anniversary.
- In collaboration with vocalists Ashford & Simpson, she created a music CD named “Been Found.”
- In 1998, she directed “Down in the Delta.” In 2002, she released her sixth autobiography, “A Song Flung Up to Heaven.”
- “Hallelujah! The Welcome Table” and “Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart” are her two cookbooks.
- She also worked for Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
- At the age of 85, she published her final and seventh autobiography, “Mom & Me & Mom,” which concentrates on her relationship with her mother.
Achievements and Awards
- Maya Angelou was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for her novel “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Before I Die.”
- She received a Tony Award nomination in 1973 for her role in the Broadway production “Look Away.”
- From 1994 to 1996, this poet received two Grammy Awards in the category of ‘Best Spoken Word Album’ for her poems ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ and ‘Phenomenal Woman.’
- In the year 2000, she was awarded the ‘National Medal of Arts,’ the highest honor bestowed by the government of the United States of America on an artist.
- In 2003, she received a Grammy for “A Song Flung Up to Heaven” in the category of “Best Spoken Word Album.”
- She received the Lincoln Medal as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- She got honorary degrees from almost 50 educational institutions.
Maya Angelou Personal Life: Who Did She Marry?
Maya Angelou had a husband. First, in 1951, she married Tosh Angelos, a Greek electrician, sailor, and aspiring musician. Guy, their son, was born to her. After three years of marriage, the couple filed for divorce in 1954. She later dated Vusumzi Make from 1961 to 1962.
She later married Welsh carpenter Paul du Feu. Paul previously married author Germaine Greer. Paul and Maya married in 1974, and she defined their love as a “match made in heaven” in her second novel, Even the Stars Look Lonesome. They did, however, divorce in 1983. She was never seen again after that. Her sexual orientation was heterosexual.
Maya Angelou net worth
Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist with a net worth of $10 million in 2022. She was best known for her 1969 autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which became an international best-seller and is now required reading in many high schools. She had previously acted in television ads for the Public Broadcasting System (1999), Union Bank of California (2013), and Wake Forest University (2014).
She spent $575,000 on a home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1994. Shelley and Daryl Bible purchased the house for $500,000 a year after her death and spent more than $1 million on renovations. They listed the house in March 2020 for $2.395 million, and it sold for $2 million a few months later. Details about her career earnings have yet to be revealed. Her major source of income is her poetry career.
Maya Angelou Height
Maya Angelou was a lovely woman with a lovely smile and a radiant face. Her height was 5 ft 5 in or 165 cm, and her weight was 68 kg or 150 lbs. Her physical type was typical. Her hair was black, and her eyes were also black. Her front teeth were spaced apart. Her physique measurements have yet to be revealed.
Did You Know?
- Her given name was Marguerite Annie Johnson.
- She had never attended college, yet she had acquired almost fifty honorary degrees in her lifetime.
- She was a Civil Rights activist who collaborated with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
- She was well-known for her feminist ideals, as expressed in her renowned poem “Phenomenal Woman.”
- Angelou is the first of six female awardees whose coins will circulate until 2025.
- She became a poet and writer after working as a fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, Porgy and Bess cast member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference coordinator, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during Africa’s decolonization.