Nelson Mandela’s death deprived the world of one of one of the great figures of modern history and set the stage for days of mourning and reflection about a colossus of the 20th century who projected astonishing grace, resolve and good humor. Dressed in black, South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement on television. He said Mandela died “peacefully” while with his family at around 8:50 p.m. on Thursday.
“We’ve lost our greatest son. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” Zuma said. “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.”
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