The world said goodbye today to a woman whose words, life, and spirit have inspired generations. Maya Angelou, though best known for her poetry and groundbreaking memoir, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings," was much more than just a lauded writer. After surviving a rough childhood and adolescence growing up in the Jim Crow South, Angelou went on to also become a singer, dancer, director, Tony-nominated actress, and civil rights activist, having counted among her friends Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. It's no wonder then, that the 86 year old, who had also earned countless honorary degrees, Grammys, and a Pulitzer nomination, was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Obama, the highest civilian honor in the United States. "I'm a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me," she once wrote, and indeed she was. Click through as we remember Maya Angelou and some of her most inspiring words of wisdom.

[Cover photos via @luxerubbish, @amyynelsonn]