US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to late teenage peace activist and poet MATTIE STEPANEK on Sunday (30APR06), hailing him as her "dear, sweet angel friend". Winfrey appeared at a bookstore in Santa Barbara, California, to celebrate the life of Mattie, who died from muscular dystrophy aged just 13 but left behind a legacy of poetry and essays. Addressing the crowd, who included Mattie's mother, JENNIFER SMITH STEPANEK, said, "Mattie lived the biggest, greatest life of anyone I've ever known. He lived his life with the light of love, and each of us has the power to do that in our own way. "At the roll call of your life, at the end of your life, what really matters is who did you love and who did you offer love to. "I've met a lot of people in my life, but I've never met anyone like this little boy, who seemed to come from another world."