Nelson Mandela died December 5 2013.
Mandela had been receiving intense home-based medical care following a three month long hospitalization for a lung infection.
He had been subject to death rumors for months but the South African President, Jacob Zuma, announced the sad news of his passing on Thursday.
"We've lost our greatest son," Zuma said, confirming, Mandela had “departed” and was now at peace. “Our nation has lost its greatest son, yet what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves, and in him we saw so much of ourselves.”
Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first black president, ending the apartheid regime and leading the country from white-minority rule in the 1990s after have been imprisoned for 27 years.
Despite his terrible treatment in prison—Mandela was actually unable to cry after being released as his tear ducts were burned out permanently after working for years in blinding white lime quarries at Robben Island prison without any eye protection—he showed nothing but compassion and grace after coming into office, even employing many of his previous adversaries in his “rainbow coalition” government.
He was much beloved by South Africa and the world alike—and on a personal note, he was my absolute hero.