Poet/activist/ novelist Maya Angelou  has died in Winston Salem, N.C. at age 86.

Two independent sources confirmed Angelou's death to local news media.

Angelou, a Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis.

In the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked Angelou to serve as northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Angelou received many accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008.

The news broke when news media reported a police car, an ambulance and a hearse were seen outside Angelou's home around 8:30 a.m.

Winston-Salem police said they are at the home to investigate a death.

Angelou first gained fame for her first book, her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller.

In 1998, she directed the film "Down in the Delta" about a drug-wrecked woman who returns to the home of her ancestors in the Mississippi Delta.