Most of us may have encountered Maya Angelou via a school oruniversity syllabus, but once our eyes rested on her powerful words, it was love at first sight.
This amazing lady, who passed away aged 86 at her home in North Carolina, spent a lifetime speaking about strength, activism, women's rights, love, art and the best that life had to offer. In fact, she spoke on Oprah Winfrey's show about age on her 74th birthday, saying poignantly: "Living is fun."
Most of us know Angelou's famous 1969 memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, in which she recounts her memoirs as a young girl in Stamps, Arkansas. The tale is one of hardship - she is raped and abused by her mother's boyfriend - but finishes on a note of hope, grit and determination.
She taught us about holding your head high, and about not letting the terrible things in your life define you. And for that, we are eternally grateful. Here is a send off to an exceptional woman whose like we will not see again anytime soon.
Maya Angelou, we salute you.