Maya Angelou born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April ۴, ۱۹۲۸ – May ۲۸, ۲۰۱۴) was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over ۵۰ years. She received dozens of awards and more than ۵۰ honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (۱۹۶۹), tells of her life up to the age of ۱۷ and brought her international recognition and acclaim.