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Maya Angelou in 2013Maya Angelou in 2013

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (1928–2014) was an African American author and poet, best known for her series of seven autobiographies the first of which, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, became an immediate bestseller in 1969. Born in St Louis, Missouri, Angelou suffered a traumatic childhood and as a result did not speak for almost five years. She studied dance and acting in California, and had a son a few weeks after graduating from high school. As a single parent, she looked after her son and took on a variety of jobs. In the 1950s she toured Europe with a production of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess, and recorded her first album. 

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