Poet, author and activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86.
One of America’s leading literary voices of the last 50 years, Angelou was best-known for her 1969 memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
It was the first of seven volumes of autobiography that traced her life from a childhood of abuse and oppression in the Deep South in the 1930s.
The news was confirmed to the BBC by the mayor’s office in her home town of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Mayor Allen Joines said he was “very sad of her passing”.
Her poetry collections included Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie (1971), And Still I Rise (1978), Now Sheba Sings the Song (1987), and I Shall Not Be Moved (1990).
Her poem On the Pulse of the Morning, written for US President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, sold more than a million copies in the US.