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Maya Angelou Remembered By Family, Friends At Memorial

Family and friends of Maya Angelou gathered at Wake Forest University Saturday to remember the late civil rights icon and poet.
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jun 07, 2014

Family, friends, and several of her famous admirers gathered together Saturday to honor civil rights icon Maya Angelou during a memorial service at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. (Via Flickr / York College ISLGP)

Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton were among the hundreds who attended the service to remember Angelou, who died May 28 at the age of 86.

Oprah, who called Angelou a "mentor, mother/sister, and friend" in a statement released after her death, reportedly helped make preparations for the service. (Via Oprah.com)

"Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known. She made us feel heard and seen and loved and special and worthy." ​(Via CNN)

Clinton, who also grew up in Arkansas like Angelou, said he related to much of her literary work on Southern life early in his career. (Via PBS)

"She called our attention to the fact that the things that really matter, dignity, work, love and kindness are things we can all share." (Via MSNBC)

And the first lady, who Angelou once praised for "her grace, her gentleness and her sense of humor," has this to say about the late poet. (Via The White House)

"She taught us that we are each wonderfully made, intricately woven and put on this earth for a purpose far greater than we could ever imagine." (Via OWN)

Saturday's memorial service was open only to close family and friends. But Wake Forest, where Angelou served as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies, chose to live stream the event.

Angelou's family has said they plan on organizing additional memorials across the country in the near future. In lieu of gifts, the family has asked for donations to the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity.