Oprah Winfrey: Maya Angelou 'will always be the rainbow in my clouds'

Poet, author, actress and civil rights activist Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86. As the news broke, her many friends and admirers took a moment to share their grief, admiration and favorite Angelou quotes in response to the loss of the literary icon.

Talk titan Oprah Winfrey, who was one of Angelou's closest friends, released a moving statement about the woman she called her "rainbow."

“I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20s," Winfrey said. "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.

Image: Oprah Winfrey with Maya Angelou. George Burns/Harpo Productions, Inc.
Maya Angelou with longtime friend Oprah Winfrey.

"She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration," Winfrey continued. "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.” 

Others shared their sentiments for the legend via Twitter.

Angelou herself was a regular fixture on Twitter. She posted her last tweet just five days before her death.

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