Lindsay Deutsch, USA TODAY

Prolific American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at 86.

She was known for her inspiring words that shed light onto the beauty and injustices of the world. USA TODAY Network lists 13 of her best quotes:

1. 'I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.'

2. 'I'm a Woman


Phenomenal Woman,

that's me.'

3. 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

  • Interview for Beautifully Said Magazine (2012)

4. 'You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.'

  • Excerpted from Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

5. 'My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.'

6. 'The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.'

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

7. 'Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.'

  • Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

8. 'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.'

9. 'We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.'

10. 'You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.'

11. 'One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.'

  • Interview in USA TODAY (March 5, 1988)

12. 'Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.'

13. 'Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.'

  • Date unknown

MORE: Maya Angelou's last tweet says it all. She will be missed.

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