Maya Angelou: What was Maya Angelou Known For? What was Maya Angelou Ethnicity?

Quick Facts

Name Maya Angelou
Age 94 Years Old
Nick Name Maya
Birth Name Marguerite Annie Angelou
Birth Date 1928-04-04
Gender Female
Profession Author ,Poet , Activist
Place Of Birth St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality American
Birth Nation USA
Ethnicity Mixed
Race Black
Horoscope Aries
Father Bailey Johnson
Mother Vivian Baxter Johnson
Siblings 1
Brothers Bailey Johnson Jr.
Religion Christian
School California Labor School
High School George Washington High School
Awards Grammy
Marital Status Married
Husband Tosh Angelos (Ex) and Paul du Feu (Ex)
Sexual Orientation Straight
Children 1
Son Guy
Net Worth $10 Million
Source of Wealth Books and Poet Career
Height 5 ft 5 in
Weight 68 KG
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Links Wikipedia

American poet, memoirist, and civil rights campaigner Maya Angelou. She wrote seven autobiographies, three books of essays, many books of poetry, and contributed to plays, films, and television shows that spanned more than 50 years during her lifetime. She became well-known for her seven autobiographies, which highlight her formative years and early adulthood. After working at various odd jobs as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, Porgy and Bess cast member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference coordinator, and correspondent in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa, she eventually found success as a poet and writer.

She was also a producer of plays, films, and public television shows as well as a writer, director, and performer. Additionally, she collaborated with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. while being active in the Civil Rights Movement. She spoke up on personal matters when “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was published. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings shot to the top of’s bestselling list in the week following Angelou’s passing. She focuses on topics like racism, identity, family, and travel in her writings. Maya is renowned for her feminism, which is highlighted in her well-known poem “Phenomenal Woman.” Sadly, on May 28, 2014, she passes away at age 86.

How much was the Net worth of Maya Angelou?

It was estimated that Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, had a net worth of $10 million. Her 1969 autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which soon became a global blockbuster and is now required reading in many high schools, is what made her most well-known. She had been in TV advertisements for Wake Forest University (2014), Union Bank of California (2013), and Public Broadcasting System (1999).

Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights, activist. Via Instagram

She spent $575,000 on a house in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1994. Shelley and Daryl Bible paid $500,000 for the home the year after she passed away, and they invested more than $1 million in renovations. In March 2020, they listed the house for $2.395 million, and a few months later, it sold for $2 million. Her professional earnings have not yet been made public in full. Her work as a poet is her primary source of cash.

Ealry Years: What race did Maya Angelou belong to?

On April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, the United States, Maya Angelou was born. She went by Marguerite Annie Johnson in real life. She was of American descent, and her ethnic heritage was mixed because she was likely 1/8th Irish with African American ancestors. Also, She was black in color. Her 86th birthday was the final one she spent with her loved ones. She was a Christian and had the astrological sign of Aries. She was conceived by her mother, Vivian Baxter Johnson, and her father, Bailey Johnson.

Her mother was a nurse and a card dealer, and her father worked as a doorman and a Navy dietitian. Also, She also had a brother, Bailey Johnson Jr., who was her older sibling. She concentrated on her schooling and received her diploma from the California Labor School. She subsequently went to George Washington High School. Despite not attending college, she has more than 50 honorary degrees to her name.

What Caused Maya Angelou’s Death?

At the age of 86, Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014. Her nurse located her. Despite Angelou’s rumored ill health and cancellation of recent events, she was still writing another book, an autobiography on her interactions with national and international leaders. She wrote four books in the last ten years of her life, according to her son Guy Johnson, who spoke at her memorial ceremony at Wake Forest University. This was despite the fact that she was in continual agony from her dance career and respiratory failure. She exited this mortal realm with no loss of clarity or comprehension, he remarked.

Maya Angelou Becomes First Black Woman on a Quarter
Maya Angelou Becomes First Black Woman on a Quarter Source: @nytimes

Artists, entertainers, and world leaders, including Obama, whose sister is named after Angelou, and Bill Clinton, paid tribute to Angelou and expressed their sympathies. All writers and readers worldwide can admire and aspire to Angelou’s legacy, according to Harold Augenbraum of the National Book Foundation. The first Black woman to appear in the US quarter is Maya Angelou. It is the first piece of the American Women Quarters Program to be published. Barbara Lee, an East Bay congresswoman who oversaw the coin-making endeavor, spoke with KRON4 about the project. You might soon hold a priceless coin in your hands.

This week, the U.S. Mint started delivering the coins. “I’m simply thrilled because there have been so many people who have contributed to the creation of this country, but the public only sees the founding fathers,” Lee said. “And now they’ll be able to see women, women of color, and our first coin is our beloved Dr. Maya Angelou.” The legislation to establish the first American Women Quarters Program was co-authored by Lee. The first of six honorees who will have coins in circulation through 2025 is Maya Angelou. She is shown with her arms up and a bird soaring behind her.

What was the Professional Career of Maya Angelou?

Maya Angelou first encountered dancers and choreographers Ruth Beckford and Alvin Ailey while taking modern dance classes. The trio established themselves as “Al and Rita,” a dance group. She began dancing professionally in clubs in 1954, notably The Purple Onion nightclub, where she sang and danced to calypso music. Then, during 1954 and 1955, she performed in a Porgy and Bess opera staging that toured Europe. She then recorded “Miss Calypso,” her debut album, which was later released on CD in 1996. The 1957 film “Calypso Heat Wave” was inspired by her participation in an off-Broadway review.

In 1959, a well-known author named John Oliver Killens was introduced to her. On John’s advice, she started penning as a part of the “Harlem Writers Guild.” Following that, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a human rights campaigner, in 1960. She organized a musical event called “Cabaret for Freedom” with Novelist Killens to raise money for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1961, she appeared in the drama “The Blacks” by Jean Genet. Additionally, she had a job at “The Arab Observer,” where she served as an assistant editor. She later rose to the position of administrator at the University of Ghana and was involved in the community of African Americans living abroad. She also served as the feature editor for The African Review.

More on Career

She met Malcolm X, a social activist, in Ghana. Also, She returned to the country to help him establish the “Organization of Afro-American Unity.” She relocated to Hawaii to be with her brother when Malcolm was killed. In 1967, she relocated to New York and began writing. She authored several plays during this time and participated in some of them as an actor.
Martin Luther King Jr. requested her to plan a march in 1968. He was slain on her 40th birthday in what Gillespie calls “a horrific twist of fate” after she accepted but postponed once again (April 4).

For National Educational Television, the forerunner of PBS, she then wrote, produced, and narrated “Blacks, Blues, Black!” a ten-part series of documentaries about the relationship between blues music and Black Americans’ African heritage as well as what Angelou called the “Africanisms still current in the U.S.” She began writing “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” her first autobiography, in 1968. It was published in 1969 and made her famous. She wrote the screenplay for “Georgia, Georgia” in 1972, becoming the first black woman to do it. “Gather Together in My Name,” her second autobiography, was released in 1974. After two years, she published “Singin’ and  wingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas,” another autobiography. In 1977, she was also cast in “Roots.”

More on Career

Then she published “The Heart of a Woman” and “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes,” two more memoirs. She then accepted a position as a lecturer at Wake Forest University in North Carolina’s Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. The drama “Moon,” written by Errol John, was then directed by her and presented at London’s “Almeida Theatre.” In 1993, she accepted a request from President Bill Clinton to read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning.” She spoke “A Brave and Startling Truth,” her “second public poem,” in June 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, according to Richard Long.

American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou
American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou Source: @nytimes

In collaboration with the musicians Ashford & Simpson, she released the music album “Been Found.” In 1998, she served as the film’s director. A Song Flung Up to Heaven, her sixth autobiography, was published in 2002. “Hallelujah! The Welcome Table” and “Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart” are two of the cookbooks she has published. She also participated in the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. At the age of 85, she published “Mom & Me & Mom,” her final and seventh autobiography, which concentrates on her relationship with her mother.

Awards and Achievements

  • In 1971, Maya Angelou was nominated for the “Pulitzer Prize” for her book ‘Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore IDiiie.’
  • In 1973, she won a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the Broadway “Look Away”.
  • From 1994 to 1996, this writer was awarded the ‘Grammy’ on two occasions under the ‘Best Spoken Word Album’ category for her poems ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ and ‘Phenomenal Woman.’
  • She received the ‘National Medal of Arts’ in the year 2000, the highest honor presented to an artist by the government of the United States of America.
  • In 2003, she won Grammy for “A Song Flung Up to Heaven” under the ‘Best Spoken Word Album’ category.
  • She was awarded the Lincoln Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • She received honorary degrees from more than 50 educational institutions.

How was the personal life of Maya Angelou? Was she married?

Maya Angelou had a husband. First, in 1951, she wed Tosh Angelos, a Greek electrician, sailor, and aspiring musician. Guy, their son, was born via her. After three years of being together, the couple eventually got divorced in 1954. She then dated Vusumzi Make from 1961 to 1962 after that.

Maya Angelou with her then husband, Paul Du Feu
Maya Angelou with her then husband, Paul Du Feu Souce: @eurweb

Paul du Feu, a Welsh carpenter, later became her husband. In the past, Paul was wed to author Germaine Greer. Maya and Paul were married in 1974, and in her second novel, Even the Stars Look Lonesome, she had called them a “marriage made in heaven.” But in 1983, they finally separated. She was not seen again after that. She was straight in her sexuality.

Body Measurement: Height and Weight

Maya Angelou was a stunning and attractive woman with a dazzling face and a captivating smile. Also, She was tall, standing at 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm), and she weighed 68 kilograms (150 pounds). She had a typical body type. She had a pair of black eyes, and her hair was also black. Between her front teeth, she had a gap. Her exact body size has not yet been disclosed.


  • Marguerite Annie Johnson was her real name.
  • She didn’t go to college but she had received more than fifty honorary degrees in her lifetime.
  • She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
  • She was known for her feminist thoughts, as mentioned in her famous poem “Phenomenal Woman”.
  • Angelou is the first of six women honorees whose coins will be in circulation through 2025.
  • She became a poet and writer after a string of odd jobs during her young adulthood which included fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, Porgy and Bess cast member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference coordinator, and correspondent in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa.