Born: Marguerite Johnson, April 4, 1928, St. Louis, Missouri
Education: Attended public school in Stamps, Arkansas and San Francisco, California
RANDOM HOUSE & BANTAM BOOKS
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1970 – On February 26, 1995, Bantam Books congratulated Maya Angelou for being the first African-American to be the longest-running (2 years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-seller list for 6 weeks in 1970 and again in 1993 after the Clinton Inauguration.
Gather Together In My Name, 1974.
Singin’ And Swinging’ And Getting’ Merry Like Christmas, 1976.
The Heart of A Woman, 1981 – In September 1997, USA Today’s “Best-Selling Book”, Jumped from #83 to #11 on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-seller list and selected for Oprah Book Club.
All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, 1986 Best-seller list on The New York Times.
A Song Flung Up To Heaven, 2002- Currently on The New York Times Best-Seller List for Hardcover Nonfiction.
The Complete Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou, released September 2004
RANDOM HOUSE & BANTAM BOOKS
Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, 1993 and 1994, on The New York Times Best-seller list.
Even the Stars Look Lonesome, 1997 – Jumped from #79 to #22 on the extended list for The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-seller list.
Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes, The New York Times Best-seller list September 2004
Letter to My Daughter, September 2008, The New York Times Best–seller list, October to December 2008
Great Food All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart, released December 14, 2010
Mom & Me & Mom to be released in April 2, 2013
STEWART, TABORI & CHANG
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, 1993.
My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me, 1994.
Kofi and His Magic, 1996.
RANDOM HOUSE, 2004
Maya’s World: Izak of Lapland
Maya’s World: Angelia of Italy
Maya’s World: Renée Marie of France
Maya’s World: Mikale of Hawaii
RANDOM HOUSE & BANTAM BOOKS
Just Give Me A Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diie, 1971 – Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well, 1975.
And Still I Rise, 1978.
Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing, 1983.
Now Sheba Sings the Song, 1987
I Shall Not Be Moved, 1990.
On the Pulse of Morning, Written at the request of William Jefferson Clinton for his Inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States, January 20, 1993. Published by Random House in March 1993 and was on The New York Times Best-seller list for 9 weeks.
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou 1994.
Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems for Women, 1995 Best-seller list for The New York Times.
A Brave and Startling Truth, Recited at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, June 26, 1995; Published by Random House in October, 1995.
From a Black Man to a Black Woman, delivered at the Million Man March in Washington, DC, October 16, 1995.
Extravagant Spirits, written in May 1997 for Life Magazine’s Collector’s Edition
Amazing Peace, 2005. Read by her at the lighting of the Pageant of Peace, National Christmas Tree Ceremony at the White House on December 1, 2005. Best-seller list for The New York Times in 2005.
Mother, A Cradle to Hold Me, April 2006, Best-seller list for The New York Times.
Celebrations, Rituals of Peace & Prayer, October 31, 2006, extended Best-seller list for The New York Times.
Cabaret For Freedom, 1960 – Produced off-Broadway (in collaboration with Godfrey Cambridge).
The Least of These, 1966 – Produced in Los Angeles.
Gettin’ Up Stayed On My Mind, 1967.
Ajax, 1974 – Produced in Los Angeles (Mark Taper Forum).
And Still I Rise, 1976 – Produced in Oakland, California (Oakland Ensemble Theater).
Moon On A Rainbow Shawl, 1988 – Produced in London (Author Errol John).
Georgia, Georgia, 1972 – Produced by Cinerama, Sweden.
All Day Long, 1974 – Produced by American Film Institute, Los Angeles.
• Writer for Oprah Winfrey series “Brewster Place.”
• PBS Documentaries: “Who Cares About Kids” & “Kindred Spirits” –
• KERA-TV, Dallas, TX; “Maya Angelou: Rainbow in the Clouds” – WTVS-TV,
• Detroit, MI “To the Contrary” – Maryland Public Television. Two plays for national viewing;
• Tapestry and Circles; Directed in Hollywood, 1975.
• Author of six national one half-hour programs; interviews and profiles; “Assignment America” premiered
• Ten one-hour programs (NET-TV) “Black, Blues, Black”; National
• Education Television; written, produced and directed, 1968.
• Ghanaian Broadcasting Corporation, Contributor, 1963-64.
• “Afro-American in the Arts,” PBS Documentary
• “Humanities Through the Arts,” 30 half-hour segments.
• “Three Way Choice,” CBS Miniseries; Author/Executive Producer.
• Sister, Sisters, NBC; 1982.
• “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” movie, CBS; co-authored; 1979.
• Two programs for the United States Information Agency; written and hosted; Part One: “The Legacy,”
Part Two: “The Inheritors,” 1976.
• Touched By An Angel “Tree of Life” episode, November, 1995.
• “The Amen Corner” Chris/Rose Productions with Miramax (work-in-progress), 1999.
• “Down in the Delta” weekly television series (work-in-progress), 1999.
• Moesha, WB TV, August 30, 1999
• Runaway, CBS/Hallmark Movie, December 10, 2000
• “Madea’s Family Reunion,” movie, “Aunt May,” written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry with Reuben Cannon Lion’s Gate Film
• “Celebration Table: Talking & Tasting with Maya Angelou,” 13 episodes, Hallmark Channel, airing 2012
FILMS & PLAYS
PORGY AND BESS (George Gershwin) played Ruby in European tour, 1954-55.
CALYPSO, Off-Broadway, 1957.
THE BLACKS (Jean Genet) played White Queen Off-Broadway, 1960. THE BLACKS won the Obie Award
in 1961 for the best Broadway play, both American and foreign).
MOTHER COURAGE (Bertold Brecht), played title role Off-Broadway, 1964.
MEDEA (Jean Anouilh) played Nurse in Hollywood.
LOOK AWAY (Jerome Kilty) played Mrs. Keckley, Broadway, 1973.
ROOTS (Alex Haley), played Nyo Boto (Grandmother), Hollywood, 1977. (Received Emmy Nomination for Best
HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT, 1995, Universal Pictures.
DOWN IN THE DELTA, 1998, Miramax Films, Directorial Film Debut. Released on Video June 1999.
FOR THE LOVE OF IVY, Sidney Portier film
MISS CALYPSO, 1957, Liberty Records
GEORGIA, GEORGIA, 1972
ALL DAY LONG, 1974
MISS CALYPSO, 1996
SPOKEN WORD ALBUMS
• THE POETRY OF MAYA ANGELOU, 1969 – GWP Records.
• WOMEN IN BUSINESS, 1981 – University of Wisconsin.
• BEEN FOUND, Music & Spoken Word Album with Ashford & Simpson, 1996.
CONTRIBUTOR OF ARTICLES,
SHORT STORIES & POEMS TO THESE PERIODICALS:
Black Scholar, Redbook Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, Ebony Magazine, Cosmopolitan, California Living Magazine, Mademoiselle Magazine, Life Magazine, Ghanaian Times, Chicago Daily News, Sunday New York Times
THE TRUE BELIEVERS, a book of poems in collaboration with Abbey Lincoln.
ALL DAY LONG, a collection of short stories
• Taught modern dance at The Rome Opera House and The Hambina Theatre in Tel Aviv.
• Was the Northern Coordinator for The Southern Christian Leadership Conference – appointed by the request of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1959-60
• Associated Editor of the Arab Observe, Cairo, Egypt (English language news weekly) 1961-62.
• Assistant Administrator and teacher, School of Music & Drama, University of Ghana, 1963-66.
• Feature Editor of African Review, Accra, Ghana, 1964-66.
• Contributor of free-lance articles, Ghanian Times, 1964-66.
• Contributor to Radio Ghana, 1964-66.
• Writer-in-Residence, University of Kansas in Lawrence, 1970.
• Distinguished Visiting Professor – Wake Forest University, 1974.
• Distinguished Visiting Professor – Wichita State University, 1974.
• Distinguished Visiting Professor – California State University of Sacramento, 1974.
• Appointed member of American Revolution Bicentennial Council by President Gerald Ford, 1975-76.
• Served on Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Commission for International Women’s Year, 1978-79.
• Appointed the First Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC,
lifetime appointment since 1981.
• Fulbright Scholar Program, 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, Liberia, 1986.
• Selected by American Council of the Arts to deliver the Nancy Hanks Lecture in Washington, D.C. on
March 20, 1990.
• Panelist at Institute for The Study of Human Systems in Zermatt, Switzerland, June 1990.
• United States of America, Congressional Record, 104th Congress, House of Representatives, Tribute to Maya Angelou by the Honorable Kweisi Mfume, Maryland Congressman, 1996.
• Wrote Invocation & Benediction for “Jessye Norman Sings For The Healing of AIDS” 1996.
• Microsoft Encarta Africana Encyclopedia, presenter for The African Diaspora, 1998.
• Board of Governors, University of North Carolina, “Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child
and Family Education” at Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, 1998.
• Talk Show Host on Oprah & Friends XM Satellite Radio, station 156, launched September 25, 2006 at NASDAQ
LANGUAGES FLUENT IN:
ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, ITALIAN, ARABIC, WEST AFRICAN FANTI
• Member, Director’s Guild of America.
• Member, Equity.
• Member, AFTRA (American Federation Television Radio Artists).
• Advisory Board, Woman’s Prison Association.
• Harlem Writer’s Guild
• Member, The National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year.
• Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
• National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, London, England, named a center for her, The Maya Angelou C.P.T. and Family Centre opened with her cutting the ribbon, June 20, 1992.
• Ambassador, UNICEF International, 1996.
• Member, Doctors Without Borders, New York, 1996.
• Member, W.E.B. DuBois Foundation, Inc., Amherst, MA.
• Member, Advisory Board, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC.
• Member, Advisory Board, First Commercial Bank, Little Rock, AR.
• US Holocaust Memorial Museum Committee, Washington, DC, 2001
• Member, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Washington, DC.
• Member, Clinton Global Initiative, New York, NY
• Board of Governors, Winston Salem State University, Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education, 1998
• Induction, National Women’s Hall of Fame, 1998
HONORS & AWARDS
* Chubb Fellowship Award – Yale University 1970
* Nominated for the National Book Award for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1970
* Pulitzer Prize Nomination for Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie, 1972
* Honorary Degree – Portland State University 1973
* Tony Award Nomination for her performance in “Look Away” 1973
* Distinguished Visiting Professor – Wichita State University, 1974
* Board of Trustees/American Film Institute 1975
* Rockfeller Foundation Scholar in Italy, Scholar-in-residence at the Bellagio Study & Conference Center 1975
* Honorary Degree – Smith College 1975
* Honorary Degree – Mills College 1975
* Honorary Degree – Lawrence University 1976
* Ladies’ Home Journal Award (“Woman of the Year in Communication”) 1976
* Nominated for an Emmy Award in made-for-television movie “Roots” 1977
* Golden Eagle Award – Documentary for PBS, “Afro-American in the Arts” 1977
* Honorary Degree – Columbia College 1979
* Honorary Degree – Occidental College 1979
* Honorary Degree – Atlanta University 1980
* Honorary Degree – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 1980
* Honorary Degree – Wheaton College 1981
* Honorary Degree – Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, 1982
* Honorary Degree – Kean College of New Jersey 1982
* Honorary Degree – Claremont Graduate School 1982
* Honorary Degree – Spelman College 1983
* Honorary Degree – Boston College 1983
* Ladies’ Home Journal “Top 100 Most Influential Women” 1983
* The Matrix Award – Field of Books from Women in Communication, Inc. 1983
* Honorary Degree – Winston-Salem State University 1984
* Honorary Degree – University Brunesis 1984
* Honorary Degree – Howard University 1985
* Honorary Degree – Tufts University 1985
* Honorary Degree – University of Vermont 1985
* Honorary Degree – North Carolina School of the Arts 1986
* Fulbright Program 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, 1986
* The North Carolina Award in Literature (the highest honor the state bestows) 1987
* Honorary Degree – North Carolina School of the Arts 1988
* Honorary Degree – University of Southern California 1989
* American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award 1990
* Candace Award, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, 1990
* Recipient of the Langston Hughes Award presented at the City College of New York 1991
* Distinguished Woman of North Carolina 1992
* Essence Woman of the Year 1992
* Horatio Alger Award 1992
* Woman in Film, Crystal Award 1992
* Drum Major for Justice, 1992, from The California Advocate Fresno’s African American Community Newspaper
* Honorary Degree – Northeastern University 1982
* Inaugural Poet for President Bill Clinton 1993
* Arkansas Black Hall of Fame 1993
* Honorary Degree – Skidmore College 1993
* Honorary Degree – University of North Carolina at Greensboro 1993
* Honorary Degree – Academy of Southern Arts & Letters 1993
* Grammy for Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album 1993 for On the Pulse of Morning
* Citizen Diplomat Award, 1993
* Walk of Fame – Rollins College, 1994
* Spingarn Award – NAACP 1994
* Honorary Degree – American Film Institute 1994
* Honorary Degree – Bowie State University 1994
* Frank G. Wells Award 1995
* Honorary Degree – University of Durham 1995
* Grammy for Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album, 1995 for Phenomenal Woman
* Lifetime Membership, N.A.A.C.P., Honeywell Corporation, Minneapolis, MN 1996
* President’s Award, Collegiate of Language Association for Outstanding Achievements, Winston-Salem, NC 1996
* Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Los Angeles & Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Association
National Award 1996
* The New York Black 100, Schomburg Center & The Black New Yorkers 1996
* National Conference of Christians & Jews, Distinguished Merit Citation 1997
* Homecoming Award, Oklahoma Center for Poets & Writers 1997
* W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Expert-in-Residence Program 1997
* North Carolina Woman of the Year Award, N.C. Black Publishers Association 1997
* Presidential & Lecture Series Award, University of North Florida 1997
* Black Caucus of American Library Association, Cultural Keepers Award 1997
* Humanitarian Contribution Award, Boston, MA 1997
* Honorary Degree – Shaw University 1997
* Honorary Degree – Wake Forest University 1997
* NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Even the Stars Get Lonesome, 1997
* Alston/Jones International Civil & Human Rights Award 1998
* Christopher Award, New York, NY 1998
* American Airlines Audience, Gold Plaque Choice Award, Down in the Delta from Chicago International Film
* City Proclamation, Winston-Salem, NC from Mayor Jack Cavanaugh 1998
* Sheila Award, Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA 1999
* Special Olympics World Games, Speaker, Raleigh, NC 1999
* Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature 1999
* Named one of the top 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century by Writer’s Digest 1999
* Honorary Degree – Lafayette College 1999
* Presidential Medal of Arts from President Clinton, 2000
* Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, 2000 for A Song Flung up to Heaven
* Honorary Degree, Hope College, 2001
* American Geriatrics Society’s Foundation for Health In Aging Award, 2002
* Ethnic Multicultural Media Awards (EMMAs), Lifetime Achievement, 2002
* Honorary Degree, Columbia University, 2003
* Honorary Degree, Eastern Connecticut University, 2003
* 2004 Grammy nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album” for Hallelujah! The Welcome Table
* Charles Evans Hughes Award, National Conference for Community and Justice, 2004
* Howard University Heart’s Day Honoree, 2005
* New York Times Best Seller List, May 2006
* John Hope Franklin Award, June 2006
* Mother Teresa Award for her untiring devotion and service to humanity, August 2006
* The Quill Award for Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem, October 2006
* Matrix Human Services, Humanitarian Contribution Award, October 13, 2006, Detroit, MI
* Black Caucus of American Library Association, Joint Conference of Librarians of Color Author Award, 2006
* 2007 nomination for NAACP Image Award, “Outstanding Literary Works” for Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer, award presented February 10, 2007
* 2007 School of Nursing recommendation for honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Minnesota
* The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Inc., Dallas, TX, For Outstanding Contribution and Support to TBALL,
September 23, 2007
* Medal of Honor Award, in recognition of her work in poetry, literature, film, speaking, etc. from the Cristóbal
Gabarrón Foundation, November 29, 2007, this is the first time award presented to someone outside Spain
* 2007 50th Grammy Awards Year nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album” for Celebrations
* Martha Parker Legacy Award, 2007
* January 12, 2008 Inductee the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, M.L.King, Jr. Historic Site, Atlanta, GA
* June 1, 2008, Lincoln Medal Recipient, in recognition of her accomplishments/personal attributes that illuminate the character of President Abraham Lincoln, Washington, DC
* Voice of Peace Award (first recipient), Hope for Peace and Justice, 2008
* Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, September 2008
* Cornell Medallion, 2008
* Gracie Allen Award (Gracie), 2008
* The Ninth Annual Walter Dandy Orator Award, from The Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Orlando, FL, September 22, 2008
* The Marian Anderson Award, Philadelphia, PA, November 17, 2008
*February 7, 2009, nominations for 40th NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction” for
Letter to My Daughter and “Outstanding Literary Work-Children,” for Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
* 2008 NAACP Image Award for Letter to My Daughter, “Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction” for Letter to My
Daughter, February 12, 2009
*May 2009, Honorary Degree, Kean University, Hillside, NJ
*June 4, 2009, AWRT’s Gracie Award, Individual Achievement Award for “Outstanding Host” for the weekly XM
Radio Program, the Dr. Maya Angelou Show
* Presidential Medal of Freedom, announced November 17, 2010, receiving February 15, 2011 from President Obama
* AARP’s Andrus Award, Washington, DC, December 9, 2010
* Mosaic Woman Legend Award, Diversity Magazine, October 2010
* Dignity & Respect Campaign’s “Champion Award,” February 2011
* Key and Proclamation to the District of Columbia, City of Washington, May 10, 2011 presented by Mayor Vincent C.
* “I Am the Urban League” Legacy Award, Winston Salem, NC, May 20, 2011
* Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., “Generations Award,” October 29, 2011
* Meritorious Achievement Award, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL, January 26, 2011
* B.E.T. Television’s “Literary Arts Award,” aired February 13, 2012
* Wake Forest University’s “Words Awake, A Celebration of Wake Forest Writers and Writing” Hall of Fame Inductee,
March 25, 2012
* NC Writer’s Network’s Literary Hall of Fame, Fall 2012
* The Heritage Registry Who’s Who For Executives and Professionals 2012 edition, May 2012
* Maya Angelou Center for Women’s Health & Wellness @ Forsyth Medical Center opens June 2012
* Inductee, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, October 14, 2012
* The Furious Flower Lifetime Achievement Award, James Madison University, October 16, 2012