Maya Angelou, award-winning author of many books, is one of the most influential African Americans in American history, and lives a life far from typical. She's a poet, an author, a play-write, an actress, a mother, a civil-rights activist, historian and most importantly; a survivor. She was born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri and was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas (http://mayaangelou.com/bio/). .
When Angelou was seven years old, she went to visit her mother in Chicago. While there, her mother's boyfriend sexually molested her. Maya was scared to tell people about the incident, but she eventually told her brother what happeneder. Later on she saw in the news that her uncle killed her mom's boyfriend for what he had done to Maya. Maya felt horrible because she felt like what she said had killed the man that molested her. For five years she didn't say a word because she was scared of things people were going to say. When she was a teenager, she really loved art. Since she loved art, she got a scholarship to study dance and drama in San Francisco's Labor School. When she was 14, she dropped out of the school of dance and drama to become the first African-American female car conductor. After graduating high school she had a baby boy. She became a single mother at a very young age. In order to support her son, she had two jobs. One of her jobs was being a waitress and the other was a cook. No matter what she did in life, she always loved music, dance, performing, and poetry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Angelou). .
In 1952, she got married to a Greek sailor named Anastasios Angelopulos. Maya Angelou was her professional name when she started her career as nightclub singer. She then combined her childhood nickname with her husband's name (http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/ang0bio-1). Then in 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt. When she moved there she became an editor of an English language weekly called "The Arab Observer.