According to the New York Times, Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday. He was 95. The South African president, Jacob Zuma, announced Mr. Mandela’s death.
Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.
In a statement from the White House, President Obama said, Nelson Mandela inspired millions of people across the world to work for freedom and democracy. “He achieved more than can be expected of any one man. He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”
Mr. Mandela will be buried, according to his wishes, in the village of Qunu, where he grew up. A state funeral will be held.