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Author and poet Maya Angelou has reportedly died of an unspecified illness. She was 86.
Angelou shot to literary fame when she chronicled her tumultuous early life in the 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which remains a definitive and beloved American literature classic 45 years after its original publication. In the decades that followed, Angelou worked as an author, poet, playwright, screenwriter, actress, scholar, and even a cookbook writer.
News of Angelou's death comes just a week after Major League Baseball announced that Angelou would not appear at a May 30 luncheon in her honor, citing "health reasons."