News: Global Icon Nelson Mandela Passes At 95, President Obama, Tyra Banks, Muhmmad Ali & More React

Thursday, Dec 5, 2013 7:23PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

World icon Nelson Mandela has passed away today (December 5) at the age of 95, leaving a historic legacy behind him which centered on peace and social equality.

According to reports, Mandela lost his life due to medical complications he had fought since last summer.

The prominent political leader, whose life-long work to end apartheid in his native South Africa and subsequent election as the country's first black president made him an icon and furthermore, a global symbol of peace and social change, died Thursday, the government of South Africa confirmed. He was 95. According to reports, Mandela died from complications due a recurring lung infection. He had been hospitalized since June 8. (E! Online)

Renowned boxing icon Muhammad Ali issued a statement on the fellow global symbol's passing.

"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. He inspired others to reach for what appeared to be impossible and moved them to break through the barriers that held them hostage mentally, physically, socially and economically. He made us realize, we are our brother's keeper and that our brothers come in all colors. What I will remember most about Mr.Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge. He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free." (Statement)

President Barack Obama spoke on Mandela's legacy and what he will continue to represent for generations to come.

President Barack Obama also released a statement about Nelson, saying, "I cannot imagine my own life without Mandela's example." The nation's first black president, who met Nelson in 2005 when he was a senator in Illinois, adds that we should all aspire to be more like Nelson. "May Nelson Mandela's life of service to others and his unwavering commitment to equality, reconciliation, and human dignity continue to be a beacon for each future generation seeking a more just and prosperous world." (Hollywood Life)

Various celebrities like Tyra Banks and Samuel L. Jackson reacted to his death.

"@NelsonMandela, 95 powerful years on this earth yet freedom for INFINITY because of you. You are an angel that will live forever.," Banks tweeted December 5. (Tyra Banks' Twitter)
"Never met a better person in my life than Nelson Mandela. My sympathy to his family & his country.," Jackson tweeted. (Samuel L. Jackson's Twitter)

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