Born: April 4, 1928 (still alive)
Maya Angelou had many careers such as a singer, dancer, actress, and Hollywood first female director. Though she is best known as a poet, writer, and playwrighter.
Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri and her real name was Marguerite. Her name Maya was created when her brother called her “My” for “My sister.” Then after he read about the Maya Indian he started to call her Maya. Angelou’s parents divorced was she was three so she and he brother Bailey were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. At the age of thirteen they joined her mother in San Fransisco and she attended Mission High School. Then won a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Fransisco’s Labor School. In her senior year of High School she became pregnant and gave birth a few weeks after graduating.
In 1952 she married Ansatasios Angelou, a Greek sailor and started her career as a night club singer. In 1954 and 1955 she toured Europe with the opera Porgy and Bess. Her first record album was called Calypso Lady, in 1957. Angelou’s skills of a writer majorly developed at the end of 1950’s when she joined the Harlem Writers Guild in New York. Their she had the opportunity to met James Baldwin and other famous writers.
I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings is the first autobiography of six for Maya Angelou. The book became a great successes and was nominated for a National Book Award.
“Maya Angelou : The Poetry Foundation.” Poetry Foundation. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/maya-angelou.
“Maya Angelou Biography — Academy of Achievement.” Academy of Achievement Main Menu. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. <http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/ang0bio-1>.