Maya Angelou

Poet + Dancer + Producer + Playwright + Director + Author
Born Apr 4, 1928

Maya Angelou is an American author and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award.… Read More

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1928 Birth Born on April 4, 1928.


1951 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1951, Angelou married Greek electrician, former sailor, and aspiring musician Tosh Angelos, despite the condemnation of interracial relationships at the time and the disapproval of her mother. … Read More
1954 26 Years Old 1 More Event
After Angelou's marriage ended in 1954, she danced professionally in clubs around San Francisco, including the nightclub the Purple Onion, where she sang and danced to calypso music. … Read More
1957 29 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1957, riding on the popularity of calypso, Angelou recorded her first album, Miss Calypso, which was reissued as a CD in 1996.


1959 - 1960 2 More Events
1961 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1961, Angelou performed in Jean Genet's play The Blacks, along with Abbey Lincoln, Roscoe Lee Brown, James Earl Jones, Louis Gossett, Godfrey Cambridge, and Cicely Tyson.
1962 34 Years Old In 1962, her relationship with Make ended, and she and Guy moved to Accra, Ghana, he to attend college, but he was seriously injured in an automobile accident.
Angelou remained in Accra for his recovery and ended up staying there until 1965. … Read More
1967 39 Years Old She acted in and wrote plays, and returned to New York in 1967. … Read More


1968 40 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. asked Angelou to organize a march. … Read More
1972 44 Years Old Angelou's Georgia, Georgia, produced by a Swedish film company and filmed in Sweden, the first screenplay written by a black woman, was released in 1972. … Read More
1973 45 Years Old 1 More Event
Angelou married Welsh carpenter and ex-husband of Germaine Greer, Paul du Feu, in San Francisco in 1973. … Read More
1977 49 Years Old In 1977, Angelou appeared in a supporting role in the television mini-series Roots. … Read More


1981 53 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1981, Angelou and du Feu divorced.


1991 63 Years Old Angelou's mother Vivian Baxter died in 1991 and her brother Bailey Johnson, Jr., died in 2000 after a series of strokes; both were important figures in her life and her books. … Read More
…  In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. … Read More
1994 - 1995 2 More Events
1996 68 Years Old 1 More Event
Angelou achieved her goal of directing a feature film in 1996, Down in the Delta, which featured actors such as Alfre Woodard and Wesley Snipes.
2000 - 2008 4 More Events
2010 82 Years Old In late 2010, Angelou donated her personal papers and career memorabilia to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. … Read More
2011 83 Years Old In 2011, Angelou served as a consultant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. She spoke out in opposition to a paraphrase of a quotation by King that appeared on the memorial, saying, "The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit", and demanded that it be changed. … Read More
Her final speaking engagement at the university was in late 2013. … Read More
2014 86 Years Old 1 More Event
On May 29, 2014, Mount Zion Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, of which Angelou was a member for 30 years, held a public memorial service to honor Angelou.
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