On Wednesday, the world lost inspirational poet and humanitarian Dr. Maya Angelou. Angelou was a legendary voice in the world of communications who influenced PR professionals with her exquisite way with words.
Described on her website as a “global renaissance woman”, Angelou spent her life traveling the world and pursuing her passion for performing arts and poetry. Her list of accomplishments is extensive. In her lifetime, Angelou served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, received 3 Grammy Awards and had over 50 honorary degrees. She worked alongside many influential public figures including Malcom X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bill Clinton.
Despite her outstanding humanitarian efforts and impressive participation in music and film, Angelou was best-recognized for her writing. Her most successful book of poetry, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is considered an American classic by both critics and audiences. Published in 1970, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiographical account of Angelou’s early years. The powerful book covers a variety of heavy topics, from rape to racism.
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”– Dr. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
In a statement released by her son, Guy, on her website, Dr. Angelou is said to have been “a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.” Her voice and her spirit will be sorely missed by the PR community.
To learn more about Dr. Maya Angelou, visit her official website.