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Acclaimed author, poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou has died. She was 86.

Angelou was found Wednesday morning in her home in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Just a few days ago Angelou announced she would not be able to attend the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards luncheon, where she was to be honored. The luncheon was part of the lead-in to the annual Civil Rights Game.

Angelou came to international attention through her autobiographical series, which began with 1969's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which detailed an early life of poverty and abuse. The success of that book made her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Born Marguerite Johnson, Angelou was raised in Arkansas and San Francisco, shuttled between her parents and a grandmother.

Despite a childhood that included rape by a man dating her mother and teenage motherhood, Angelou would go on to study dance and acting, befriend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., earn a Pulitzer Prize nomination and several honors.

She read her poem, On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.

Uplifting and thoughtful, Angelou tweeted frequently.

Her final tweet:

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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