Maya And Studs: The 1970 Interview

Jun 1, 2014

Her’s is a death that stopped us all in our tracks this week. Maya Angelou…she of 50 honorary degrees, the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom… had clearly led a full life. Who else could write SEVEN autobiographies? And die working on an eighth? 86 years… and our collective reaction when we heard the news this week said “too soon, too soon, Ms. Angelou.” 

President Obama presents The Presidential Medal of Freedom to Maya Angelou in 2010.
Credit public domain

And oh, the things we learned this week about the woman I think of first as a poet, an exquisite reader, an activist, and really, an American icon. She was a dancer and singer who put out a calypso album. An actor who’s also credited with being the first African American woman to direct a major film. A writer of TV scripts, children’s books, and cookbooks. A true Renaissance woman.

This week, everyone had something to say about Angelou’s passing. And the articles, ranging from Dr. Angelou’s Top 12 Inspirational Twitter Posts to “The Maya Angelou Quote That Will Radically Improve Your Business.” I’ll let you in on that one at the end of this post.

Today on FRR, we keep it simple. It’s a conversation. Between two people. Two extraordinary people, mind you. Thanks to The Studs Terkel Radio Archive and PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, we bring you Studs Terkel’s 1970 interview with Maya Angelou. Due to rights with the archive expressed through PRX, WNIJ cannot post the audio on our website, but is happy to offer the link for your listening pleasure.

Here’s Maya Angelou, having been granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, courtesy of

And as I promised at the beginning of today’s Free Range Radio, here’s what Carmine Gallo wrote in his Forbes article “The Maya Angelou Quote That Will Radically Improve Your Business:”

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”