maya angelou & oprah

*(Via Gossip Extra) – By most accounts, racial struggle poet and essayist Maya Angelou, who died today at 86, didn’t think much of honors.

Yet, her 80th birthday celebrated in Palm Beach April 4-6, 2008 had billionaire Donald Trump deem it one of the greatest life celebrations he’d ever seen!

I was there for a part of it, and Trump wasn’t exaggerating for once — even if, I was told by a club staffer, Angelou didn’t feel she deserved any of it.

But it was TV talker Oprah Winfrey who organized the three-day weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, and no one resists “O” — even if her plans set her back $4 million.

Oprah convinced Trump to shut down his club on a usually busy weekend, mainly because a dinner for 500 formally-clad guests in the historic property’s gilded grand ballroom that Saturday night was the centerpiece.

Four round marble stages, each covered with a dome made of drapes, were built for the entertainers, including disco queen Donna Summer and crooners Tony Bennett and Paul Anka.

Those who feted Angelou included Quincy Jones; sitcom maker Norman Lear (The Jeffersons, All in the Family); singer Natalie Cole; HBO Sports anchorman Bryant Gumble; playwright and filmmaker Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman); casino mogul Steve Wynn; former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young; singer Nickolas Ashford and actress Cicely Tyson.

Read the rest of this report at Gossip Extra.