African-American poet, author and activist, Maya Angelou, has died at the age of 86.
One of America's leading literary voices, she made her name with the 1969 memoir 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'.
It was the first of seven volumes of autobiography that traced her life from a childhood of abuse and oppression in the Deep South in the 1930s.
Her family said: "She lived as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace."
In a statement on Facebook, they said she passed away quietly at home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at 08:00 EST (12:00 GMT).
"Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belaboured by a loss of acuity or comprehension," they said.
"The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love."
Meanwhile, US President, Barack Obama has led the tributes to Maya Angelou, describing the poet, author and activist as "one of the brightest lights of our time.