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GREEK NEWS

The Story Behind Maya Angelou’s Greek Last Name

Maya Angelou greek coin quarterMaya Angelou, who has a Greek last name, at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. Credit: Public Domain

Famous African American poet and author Maya Angelou, who recently became the first black woman to appear on a US coin, has a distinctly Greek last name.

A US quarter featuring an image of Angelou went into circulation this week as part of the “American Women Quarters” program, which will feature images of significant American women who have passed away, such as Sally Ride, the female astronaut to go into space, and Wilma Mankiller, an activist and former Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Likely one of the most famous modern American poets, Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928 to Bailey Johnson, a Navy dietitian and doorman, and Vivian Johnson, a nurse.

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