I am saddened today to hear of the passing of the amazing Dr. Maya Angelou.  While she was not a personal friend to me, I always ‘felt’ like I knew her, and she was a dear friend, to many of my dear friends.

Most notably, my personal hero and mentor Ambassador Andrew Young and his wife Mrs. Carolyn Young.  I know that her passing has touched and impacted them both deeply.  I feel particularly, for Ms. Oprah Winfrey, for whom Ms. Angelou was a mentor. And for so many others, my heart and soul is with you today.

In the days ahead many will write, report and reflect on her amazing life and life’s journey — but let me simply say this here now.  Dr. Maya Angelou lived a life worthy of (role) modeling and emulating by all.

She LIVED a life, worthy of 10 lives.

She said it.

She did it.

It is done.

And she will now, be with us always and forever.  Dr. Angelou’s legacy is set.  It is now up to the rest of us, to operationalize the hope and aspiration, the love and the light, that she so elequantly spoke about.


John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. His newest book, due out June, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published by Berrett Koehler Publishing. Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans,and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.

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