Maya Angelou, a woman of many professions, was known primarily as a wordsmith: in poems, books, and speeches.
Angelou became an author at the age of 41 when she wrote her memoir I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, which was followed by various works, ranging from autobiographies to children’s books and song lyrics for a musical. “I’ll probably be writing when the Lord says, “Maya, Maya Angelou, it’s time,” Angelou told TIME in 2013.
Angelou became the first black and first female inaugural poet in 1993 for President Clinton and left behind a strong legacy as a teacher and civil rights activist.
Watch above for some of Angelou’s most memorable quotes.