May 28, 2014 -- Legendary poet and author Maya Angelou died this morning at age 86 -- and celebrities and politicians reacted to the sad news.
"She'd been very frail and had heart problems, but she was going strong, finishing a new book," her agent, Helen Brann. "I spoke to her yesterday. She was fine, as she always was. Her spirit was indomitable."
With someone who meant so much to American culture and influenced so many -- from celebrities to politicians -- many took to Twitter and Instagram to voice their appreciation for the "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" author.
Her family released this statement on Facebook:
"Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love."
In a statement, Robert Loomis, Angelou's editor of more than forty years, said, "Maya, a dear friend, helped change our hearts and minds about the African American experience in the United States, bringing it to vivid life, and her spirit and energy crossed all borders and deeply affected readers around the world."
Here are other tributes:
Rev. Al Sharpton also released a statement, saying: "Maya Angelou was the quintessential renaissance woman of the 20th century art and human rights movements. Not only was she a literary icon, she was one of the few that turned her words into action. Although she participated in civil rights rallies, she challenged leaders of the civil rights movement to embrace the struggles of others and a broader view of freedom fighting. She challenged misogyny in the movement and was our poet, conscience, teacher and corrector. She was one of the few people whose presence you felt in the room even if she didn’t say a word. Her spirit was incomparable."