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Many well-known celebrities, along with thousands of fans, have been taking to social media today to mourn the passing of Maya Angelou. Someone who knew her well and loved her very much is Oprah Winfrey. Both women came from humble beginnings and didn’t let the sexual abuse and troubles of their lives hold them back from reaching their full potential. With that in mind, Winfrey took to Facebook this afternoon to pay homage to her good friend, her mentor, and the woman she, along with many others, considered “a teacher.” Here’s what she had to say about Angelou’s influence to her thousands of followers:

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.

We agree that Angelou’s grace was unmatched. She will be greatly missed by everyone, but her work, her words, and her massive influence shall remain.

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