Maya Angelou, the author and poet who died Wednesday at 86, had a long friendship with Oprah Winfrey, who often cited her as an inspiration and a mentor.

Angelou made several appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" during its 25-year run, and she was interviewed by Winfrey last year for two episodes of OWN's "Super Soul Sunday" program.

"I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20's," Winfrey said following news of Angelou's death. "She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. 'When you learn, teach. When you get, give' is one of my best lessons from her.

"She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds."

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