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Maya Angelou's influence on Oprah Winfrey

May Angelou, left, with Oprah Winfrey.

Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86, and possibly mentioned or not among the many tributes today will be this: She had a huge influence on Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey has spoken long and often of Angelou, who was on OWN last year at this time.

And Winfrey may even be the first to suggest even this: No Angelou, no Oprah, or at least not the one millions have come to know.


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These clips, including Angelou's appearance on "Super Soul Sunday," explore that influence. Meanwhile, here's Winfrey's statement, posted on Facebook:

I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20’s. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her. She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it’s how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.​

Tags: Maya Angelou , Oprah Winfrey

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