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Bill Clinton: Maya Angelou Was 'National Treasure' And 'Beloved Friend'

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Clinton said that as part of a statement he released after news broke on Wednesday that Angelou died at 86. He said that Angelou was a "national treasure" and a "beloved friend" of himself and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Read Clinton's statement below:

With Maya Angelou’s passing, America has lost a national treasure; and Hillary and I, a beloved friend.

The poems and stories she wrote and read to us in her commanding voice were gifts of wisdom and wit, courage and grace.

I will always be grateful for her electrifying reading of “On the Pulse of Morning” at my first inaugural, and even more for all the years of friendship that followed.

Now she sings the songs the Creator gave to her when the river “and the tree and the stone were one.”

Our deepest sympathies are with Guy and his family.