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You loved her words, her poems made you smile and reflect on life, Dr. Maya Angelou was truly a “Phenomenal Woman.” The 86-year-old died peacefully at home in Winston-Salem, NC on Wednesday, May 28.

We here at Old School learned many things about this truly magnificent educator, friend, sister, poet, and more. Here are some facts that you may have not known about this “Phenomenal Woman.”


  1. At 16 she claimed to be the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco. “I loved the uniforms,” she told Oprah Winfrey in an one on one interview.
  2. She loved wearing Uggs.
  3. She watched the hit show, Law & Order
  4. She won 3 Grammys
  5. She listened and loved country music. One of her favorite was Carrie Underwood.
  6. She spoke six languages
  7. She was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration
  8. She wrote at least 3 cookbooks
  9. She was “disappointed” that one of her poems had been mentioned in a explicit rap song by Common.
  10. Maya Angelou worked as a stripper
  11. She dropped out of high school at the age of 14 and later graduated at 17
  12. She was a rape victim, which led to her writing instead of talking as a child