Former South African president Nelson Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95.
Counting himself among the millions influenced by Mandela, President Barack Obama on Thursday mourned the death of the anti-apartheid icon with whom he shares the distinction of being his nation’s first black president.
“He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages,” Obama said in a somber appearance at the White House.
South African President Jacob Zuma addressed a nation in mourning.
“We’ve lost our greatest son. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” Zuma said. “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.”
PBS NewsHour will continue to update this post as world leaders and others from around the globe speak on the loss of the former South African President and activist.
President Obama speaks to the nation on the passing of Nelson Mandela:
UPDATED 6:20 EST:
Message from The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation:
“It is with the deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of our founder, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa will shortly make further official announcements.
We want to express our sadness at this time. No words can adequately describe this enormous loss to our nation and to the world.
We give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian causes. We salute our friend, colleague and comrade and thank him for his sacrifices for our freedom. The three charitable organisations that he created dedicate ourselves to continue promoting his extraordinay legacy.
Hamba Kahle Madiba”
Gathering outside Mandela’s house:
More and more people are arriving at Madiba’s house pic.twitter.com/Oj6zmrxHys
— Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@IamMzilikazi) December 5, 2013
Former President George W. Bush:
“Laura and I join the people of South Africa and the world in celebrating the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathy to President Mandela’s family and to the citizens of the nation he loved.”
“[Nelson Mandela taught us so much about so many things. Perhaps the greatest lesson, especially for young people, is that, while bad things do happen to good people, we still have the freedom and responsibility to decide how to respond to injustice, cruelty and violence and how they will affect our spirits, hearts and minds.”
Former President George H.W. Bush:
“Barbara and I mourn the passing of one of the greatest believers in freedom we have had the privilege to know. As President, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment — setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all. He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country. Barbara and I had great respect for President Mandela, and send our condolences to his family and countrymen.”
Former President Jimmy Carter:
“Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. The people of South Africa and human rights advocates around the world have lost a great leader. His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world’s leading democracies. In recent years, I was gratified to be able to work with him through The Elders to encourage resolution of conflicts and advance social justice and human rights in many nations. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
“Only because of such a great man like Nelson Mandela is it possible that particular people in Africa and elsewhere are able to enjoy freedom and human dignity. We have to learn the wisdom and determinations and commitment of Mr Mandela to make this world better for all.”
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron:
A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I’ve asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 5, 2013
Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
All of Canada mourns with the family of Nelson Mandela and the citizens of South Africa. The world has lost one of its great moral leaders.
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) December 5, 2013
Rep. John Boehner:
“Nelson Mandela was an unrelenting voice for democracy and his ‘long walk to freedom’ showed an enduring faith in God and respect for human dignity. His perseverance in fighting the apartheid system will continue to inspire future generations. Mandela led his countrymen through times of epic change with a quiet moral authority that directed his own path from prisoner to president. He passes this world as a champion of peace and racial harmony. I send condolences to the Mandela family and to the people of South Africa.”
Sen. Harry Reid:
In a way, Mandela was both the “George Washington” and “Abraham Lincoln” of his country. We’re so fortunate to have lived in his time.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 5, 2013
Rep. Nancy Pelosi:
May the life of Nelson Mandela long stand as the ultimate tribute to the triumph of hope. pic.twitter.com/Bgv5TpayBW
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 5, 2013
Sen. Mitch McConnell:
“Elaine and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Nelson Mandela, a man whose skillful guidance of South Africa following the end of the Apartheid regime made him one of the great statesmen of our time and a global symbol of reconciliation. ‘Madiba’s’ patience through imprisonment and insistence on unity over vengeance in the delicate period in which he served stand as a permanent reminder to the world of the value of perseverance and the positive influence one good man or woman can have over the course of human affairs. The world mourns this great leader. May his passing lead to a deeper commitment to reconciliation around the world.”
“He was amazing in his selfless altruism for others, recognizing — just as did a Mahatma Gandhi or a Dalai Lama — that a true leader exists not for self-aggrandizement but for the sake of those he or she is leading.”
“We have lost one of the true giants of the past century. But in our loss is the realization that thanks to him, we have all gained something. For in bringing down the evil of apartheid, Mandela raised us up; his wisdom, patience, compassion and insistence on reconciliation make us aspire to be better people. In his determination to break from the chains of the past, he allowed us all to join him as the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls.”
New York Times Johannesburg Bureau Cheif Lydia Polgreen:
News broadcasters are deeply emotional, holding back tears as they speak about Mandela’s death.
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) December 5, 2013
Muhammad Ali (via Ann Curry):
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Mandela. His was a life filled with purpose and hope; hope for himself, his country and the world…”
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) December 5, 2013
— NASA (@NASA) December 5, 2013
The Apollo Theater, Harlem, NYC:
— Yvonne Bynoe (@YvonneBynoe) December 5, 2013
The New Yorker released their Mandela cover:
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) December 5, 2013