• Maya Angelou was a woman of many identities -- poet foremost among them -- but those who knew her well made sure to address her as Dr. Angelou, out of respect for all the honorary degrees she received.
Titles mattered to Angelou, who never graduated from college, as they would to anybody who grew up with nothing, achieved everything and were determined never to give it back.
Angelou, a renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, died at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86.
A childhood victim of rape, she broke through silence and shame to tell her tale in one of the most widely read memoirs of the 20th century. A black woman born into poverty and segregation, she recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history.
She was an actress, singer and dancer in the 1950s and 1960s and made a brave and sensational debut as an author in 1969 with "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which became standard (and occasionally censored) reading and made Angelou one of the first black women to enjoy mainstream literary success.
The world was watching in 1993 when she read her cautiously hopeful "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. Her confident performance openly delighted Clinton and made publishing history by making a poem a best-seller. For President George W. Bush, she read another poem, "Amazing Peace," at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House. Presidents honored her in return with a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor. In 2013, she received an honorary National Book Award.
Angelou appeared on several TV programs, notably the groundbreaking 1977 miniseries "Roots." She was nominated for a Tony Award in 1973 for her appearance in the play "Look Away." 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. She won three Grammys for her spoken-word albums and in 2013 received an honorary National Book Award for her contributions to the literary community.
• Malcolm Glazer, a self-made billionaire who shunned the spotlight while leading the takeover of English soccer's Manchester United and transforming the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers into Super Bowl champions, has died. He was 85.
The reclusive Palm Beach businessman had been in failing health since April 2006 when a pair of strokes left him with impaired speech and limited mobility in his right arm and leg.
As president and CEO of First Allied Corp., the holding company for the family business interests, he invested in mobile-home parks, restaurants, food service equipment, marine protein, television stations, real estate, natural gas and oil production and other ventures. Forbes ranked him this year, along with his family, as tied for No. 354 on the world's richest people list with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion.
• Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the survivor of a Siberian labor camp, was an unlikely servant to the Soviet Union and its communist ideology.
Poland's last communist leader, the general in tinted glasses who was best known for his 1981 martial law crackdown on the Solidarity union, has died at age 90 after a long struggle with cancer and a recent stroke.
In his old age, Jaruzelski battled legal charges over imposing the clampdown and for crushing a 1970 workers' strike when he was defense minister that left dozens dead. As he underwent chemotherapy for cancer in 2011, a Warsaw court excused him from participating in the two trials.
• A Mexican man once listed as the world's heaviest human being died Monday at the age of 48.
Manuel Uribe had slimmed down to about 867 pounds, well below his then-record peak weight of 1,230 pounds, which was certified in 2006 as a Guinness World Record.
Uribe had been confined to his bed in Monterrey for years, unable to walk on his own.
Uribe was a chubby kid, weighing more than 250 pounds as an adolescent. Starting in 1992, he said, his weight began ballooning further.
• Ricky Grigg, a former top-ranked big-wave surfer and oceanographer whose work confirmed one of Charles Darwin's theories about the origin of tropical islands, has died. He was 77.
The celebrated surfing pioneer was also a marine researcher who explored undersea volcanoes and once spent 15 days submerged off the California coast in an experimental capsule called Sealab II, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In the 1960s, Grigg was the world's top-ranked big-wave surfer. He appeared in more than a dozen surf movies and did a turn as a surfing coach for a 1964 episode of the TV drama "Dr. Kildare."
As a surfer, Grigg was known for exuberantly raising his arms over his head at points during his ride.
• Karlheinz Boehm, an Austrian actor and human rights activist who founded an aid group dedicated to helping people in Ethiopia, has died. He was 86.
• Dave Herman, a pioneering New York City radio personality who was in a New Jersey jail awaiting trial on charges in a child sex sting, has died. He was 78.
Herman had been living in St. Croix, where he was arrested at the airport in October on a charge he tried to transport a 7-year-old girl to the U.S. Virgin Islands for sex. Herman had allegedly been awaiting the arrival a 36-year-old single mother with a young daughter that he thought he had been communicating with in multiple telephone and online conversations about arranging illegal sexual encounters with the child.
• Bob Houbregs, the Hall of Fame basketball player who starred at Washington and played in the NBA, has died. He was 82.
• Oscar Dystel, a leader of the paperbacks market who transformed Bantam Books into a prolific powerhouse that released best-selling editions of "The Catcher in the Rye," "Jaws," Ragtime" and many others, has died at age 101.
• Storme DeLarverie, a lesbian activist who took part in the New York Stonewall riots in 1969 that started the gay rights movement in the United States, has died. She was 93.
• Renowned graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, whose vision extended from subterranean transit maps to airline logos, died Tuesday at age 83.
Vignelli, who was born in Italy, started his work life in the United States in the mid-1960s. He worked on a variety of design projects for companies including Bloomingdale's, Ford and Xerox. His designs have ended up in museum collections around the world.
Among Vignelli's high-profile projects were the original branding for American Airlines -- airplanes with red, white and blue stripes along the sides and the big AA logo on the tail -- and a version of the New York City subway map that came out in 1972 -- a geometric design lauded by some for its look but criticized by others because it didn't easily help with understanding the street-level geography of the city.
• Former light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad, who was abandoned as a child and rose to become "one of the most exciting boxers of all time" and later an advocate for the homeless after a stay in a shelter himself, has died. He was 59.
• Herb Jeffries, the jazz singer and actor who performed with Duke Ellington and was known as the "Bronze Buckaroo" in a series of all-black 1930s Westerns, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 100.
• Bunny Yeager, a model turned pin-up photographer who helped jump-start the career of then-unknown Bettie Page, has died. She was 85 years old.
• Donald Levine, the Hasbro executive credited as the father of G.I. Joe for developing the world's first action figure, has died. He was 86.
• The Oscar-nominated actress Joan Lorring has died more than six decades after appearing opposite Bette Davis in the film "The Corn is Green." She was 88.