Clyde ‘Guy’ B. Johnson, Only Son of Maya Angelou, Confirms Her Death

Clyde ‘Guy’ B. Johnson, Only Son of Maya Angelou, Confirms Her Death
FILE - In this May 20, 2010 file photo, poet Maya Angelou smiles as she greets guests at a garden party at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. Angelou, who first met Nelson Mandela in the early 1960s, praised him as a great man worthy of comparison to another icon she knew, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Our planet has lost a friend,” Angelou said Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, file)
Jack Phillips

Clyde “Guy” Johnson was the only son of Maya Angelou, and he has yet to issue a statement about his mother’s passing.

Johnson told AP that his mother died at her home on Tuesday.

Angelou, who is most famous for her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” died at 86 in North Carolina.

Angelou was married twice and had one son, Clyde “Guy” Johnson.

“The greatest gift I ever received was my son. . . .When he was four . . . I taught him to read. But then he’d ask questions and I didn’t have the answers, so I started my lifelong affair with libraries. . . .I’ve learned an awful lot because of him,” she was quoted as saying in 1985.

When she was 21, she married Greek-American Tosh Angelos and adopted his last name before they divorced three years later. She then used the name “Angelou” thereafter.

“I’m not modest,” she told The Associated Press in 2013. “I have no modesty. Modesty is a learned behavior. But I do pray for humility, because humility comes from the inside out.”

Her story awed millions. The young single mother who worked at strip clubs to earn a living later danced and sang on stages around the world. A black woman born poor wrote and recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history. A childhood victim of rape, shamed into silence, eventually told her story through one of the most widely read memoirs of the past few decades.

Angelou, a Renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, died Wednesday morning at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, her son, Guy B. Johnson, said in a statement. The 86-year-old had been a professor of American studies at Wake Forest University since 1982.

“She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace,” Johnson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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