Angelou was mute for five years after surviving traumatic sexual abuse at the age of seven. Maya's grandmother would comb her hair at night and remind her of the great poet she was. Each evening, she told Maya that if she decided to speak again, she would be the greatest writer, teacher and poet. Not only did she begin to speak again, Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Dr. Maya Angelou had over 50 honorary doctorate degrees before she passed away in 2014. Her legacy lives on forever.