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Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 3.21.16 PMFirst Lady Michelle Obama will speak at a private memorial service for Dr. Maya Angelou at Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel this Saturday morning.

Both FLOTUS and POTUS had a strong personal connection to the 86-year-old poet and writer, whom they regarded as a “fierce friend” and “(s)hero.” In fact, President Obama’s sister, Maya, is named after Angelou.

Their close relationship actually began during the 2008 campaign, when Angelou endorsed the Obamas after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race. When asked to introduce Mrs. Obama during a North Carolina rally, Angelou was advised by Oprah Winfrey that Obama was “the real deal.”

FLOTUS presented Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and a BET Honors award in 2012.

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