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Nelson Mandela Dies at 95, Obama Pays Tribute

Updated: Thursday, December 5 2013, 06:04 PM EST

Nelson Mandela died Thursday after a long illness. He was 95. South African President Jacob Zuma announced the news Thursday evening.

"For now let us pause and give thanks that Nelson Mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and built the arc of the moral universe towards justice," President Barack Obama said in an address to the nation on Thursday night. "May God bless his memory and keep him in peace."

Mandela was taken to a hospital on June 8 for treatment for a recurring lung infection. Mandela was South Africa's first democratically elected President and an anti-apartheid revolutionary.

"Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning," a biography on the Nelson Mandela Foundation website states. "Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation."

AP contributed to this story

Nelson Mandela Dies at 95, Obama Pays Tribute

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