28 May 2014 7:07 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Maya Angelou, the renowned poet, author and civil rights activist, has died at the age of 86, Variety has confirmed.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines told the local Fox affiliate that Angelou was found unresponsive by her caretaker on Wednesday morning. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a hearse with a police escort pulled away from Angelou’s home around 9 a.m. local time.

“She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace,” Angelou’s family said in a statement. “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 was best known for her coming-of-age autobiography “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.” The 1969 book provided an unflinching look at racism, teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse and was nominated for a National Book Award. It »

- Variety Staff

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