President Obama mourned the passing of one of the most "influential, courageous, and profoundly good" leaders of all time in a Thursday night statement on the passing of a Nelson Mandela."I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life."
Mandela, Obama said, "achieved more than could be expected from any man." It is for us, the president said, to "strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice."
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95, said current South African President Jacob Zuma. "Our nation has lost its greatest son," Zuma said in a televised address.
Obama, of course wasn't the only U.S. public figure to make a statement on Mandela's passing. "In a way," Harry Reid tweeted, "Mandela was both the 'George Washington' and 'Abraham Lincoln' of his country. We're so fortunate to have lived in his time." Mandela was an "unrelenting voice for democracy," said House Speaker John Boehner. The former South African president "bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example," said former U.S. president George W. Bush.