(LOS ANGELES TIMES) WASHINGTON — A somber President Obama paid tribute Thursday to the man he credits with his political awakening, saying Nelson Mandela’s dignity and sacrifice “transformed South Africa and moved all of us.”
“He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today he has gone home,” Obama said in brief remarks at the White House shortly after South African officials announced Mandela’s death. “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”
The first black president of South Africa played a significant role in the coming-of-age story of the first African American U.S. president. Obama credits Mandela’s fight against apartheid for sparking his political consciousness.
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