Lawmakers are remembering Maya Angelou, who died Wednesday at her North Carolina home. The writer, poet, and civil rights activist, who penned the acclaimed 1969 autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” was 86.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Angelou “one of the great souls” in a statement.


“She reminded us of the beauty of diversity and the importance of the black experience,” said Pelosi. “She wrote of the cry for freedom, the experience of womanhood. Her story was the story of America.” 

“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said through a statement from his office. “A daughter of the South, she played an important role in our country and will be remembered for embodying so much of the American spirit — determination, grace and faith.

“Her work has touched the lives of millions of people around the world,” he added.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) mourned the loss of Angelou with a line from one of her famous poems, “Still I Rise:”

“Godspeed,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said in a Twitter message about the late author, writing:

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) called Angelou a “timeless icon,” writing:

On Twitter, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) wrote of Angelou:

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) tweeted Wednesday morning:

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) wrote:

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) expressed sadness at word of Angelou’s death, saying: