In a moving tribute to Maya Angelou on Saturday, former president Bill Clinton said that her greatest gift during her action-packed lifetime was paying attention to life around her and sharing it with everyone.

“She called our attention to the fact that things that really mattered — dignity, work, love and kindness — are things we can all share and don’t cost anything,” Clinton said.

Family, friends and famous admirers gathered Saturday in North Carolina for a memorial service and weekend-long tribute to the poet, orator and sage. There were tears and laughter and spiritual revival-style singing to honor Angelou at the private service at Wake Forest University that included more than 2,000 people. Angelou died May 28 at age 86 after a remarkable life with important roles in civil rights and the arts.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Cicely Tyson also spoke.

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