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Maya Angelou may be gone, but her legacy lives on.
The award-winning author died Wednesday at age 86. Many of Angelou's famous fans shared their condolences and memories of the activist and author via Twitter. Three of her most powerful pals, however, released lengthier statements to pay tribute to her personal and professional achievements.
"I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my twenties," Oprah Winfrey tells E! News in a statement. "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."
Winfrey points out that Angelou was an accomplished woman who spoke six languages, wrote numerous thought-provoking books and won three Grammys. "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," Winfrey says. "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."