A crowd of family and friends gathered for a memorial service in North Carolina to honor Maya Angelou and her indelible voice as an author, activist and luminary.
Among those who called Angelou a "mentor, mother/sister and friend” was Oprah Winfrey, who joined dignitaries, including former President Bill Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama, to reflect on the renaissance woman's prolific legacy. The service was held at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, where Angelou taught for three decades.
Winfrey wiped tears as she recalled Angelou’s guidance throughout her career. She first met Angelou as a budding TV reporter in Baltimore. Impressed during the interview, the iconic poet took Winfrey under her wing — just as she had done for so many.
“She taught me the poetry of courage and respect,” Winfrey said. “She was always there holding me up to know myself.”
Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama Honor Icon
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