Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Growing up with her parents, then her grandmother, and then her mother again, Angelou’s childhood was unstable and sometimes traumatic. She had a child out of wedlock before completing high school, and worked as a prostitute and nightclub dancer to support herself before going on to become a world famous novelist, autobiographist, poet, and university professor. Angelou was married three times, but had no children with any of her husbands. In addition to the dozens of awards she received, Angelou was granted honorary degrees from 30 colleges in her lifetime. She died at her home in North Carolina on May 28, 2014.