President Clinton issued a statement Wednesday hours after the death of his friend, the poet and author Dr. Maya Angelou.
“With Maya Angelou’s passing, America has lost a national treasure; and Hillary and I, a beloved friend,” Clinton said. “The poems and stories she wrote and read to us in her commanding voice were gifts of wisdom and wit, courage and grace.”
Angelou read the inaugural poem when Clinton was sworn in for his first term in 1993. In his statement, Clinton described the experience as “electrifying” and said it was followed by “years of friendship.”
“I will always be grateful for her electrifying reading of ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ at my first inaugural, and even more for all the years of friendship that followed,” said Clinton. “Now she sings the songs the Creator gave to her when the river “and the tree and the stone were one.”
Clinton concluded by sending his “deepest sympathies” to Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, and his family.
Watch "On the Pulse of the Morning" from 1993 Inaugural