Author and poet Maya Angelou has died at age 86 in North Carolina, a family spokesman announced Wednesday.
A statement from her family was posted on Angelou's Facebook page shortly after 10 a.m.:
Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.
Angelou provided eloquent commentary on race, gender and living life to its fullest in poems and memoirs such as "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which brought her wide acclaim after its 1970 publication.
Angelou was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award, and an Emmy for her role in the television mini-series "Roots." She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and was awarded more than thirty honorary degrees.
She wrote more than 30 books and was a Grammy winner for three spoken-word albums. She had a home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she was a professor of American studies at Wake Forest University.
She was honored at the National Book Awards ceremony last year for her service to the literary community.