During the course of her life, she has worked with and around some of the best and brightest in the United States and the world. She worked under Malcolm X prior to his assassination and danced with the world renown Alvin Ailey. In her later years Angelou was a collaborator with both Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Angelou was awarded the President Medal of Freedom (the highest honor awarded to civilians) in 2010. She was 86 years old.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus joined with many across the nation in mourning the loss of an icon in Maya Angelou. Born Marguerite Ann Johnson in 1928 Angelou would spend time as an artist, dancer, writer and poet. She lived in the African nations of Egypt and Ghana before returning to the United States full time. She was selected to read a poem at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration.