May 28, 2014
Farewell to Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away this morning in her North Carolina home at the age of 86.
Dr. Angelou, a prominent and world-renowned author, poet, educator and civil rights activist, served on two presidential committees and was awarded the Presidential Medal for the Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008 and the Medal of Freedom in 2010, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Most recently, she would have been honored to receive the 2014 Beacon of Life Award by President Obama, but cancelled her appearance due to health reasons. Ira Leesfield, President of the Leesfield Family Foundation, paid tribute to Dr. Angelou, at the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida “Fathers of the Year Ceremony” held in Miami on May 17, 2014 in admiration for her insight on life and her passion to mentor and give back to the community. Leesfield received the “Citation of Honor Award” at this event for his philanthropic commitment to so many important causes. “We must all feel proud of the legacy left by someone as special as Dr. Maya Angelou, a mentor to so many, who overcame barriers of hatred and bigotry to make historic contributions to this Nation’s democracy and our civil rights. She will continue to shine for generations to come, leaving an amazing example to follow and a remarkable life to remember,” said Ira Leesfield.