American writer Maya Angelou dies aged 86

American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died aged 86, NBC News has confirmed.

Maya Angelous has died aged 86. Credit: Dennis Van Tine / ABACAUSA.COM

She is best known for a series of autobiographies, including the internationally renowned I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, published in 1969.

In a prolific career she also published several books of poetry along with plays and essays.