Maya Angelou died on May 28, 2014, at her home in North Carolina. Her literary agent, Helen Brann, explained that Angelou had been suffering from heart problems. She was 86 years old.
Angelou's funeral was on June 7, 2014, and speeches were given by Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton. The funeral was only open to family and friends, but additional memorials were held throughout the country.
Maya Angelou is known for her poetry and civil rights activism. Her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" touches on her harsh upbringing in the South and was nominated for a National Book Award. She accumulated more than 50 honorary doctorate degrees, and in 2010, she was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.