Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday.
Mandela was 95.
"He is now resting. He is now at peace," Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."
"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human," the president said in his late-night address. "We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.
President Barack Obama will reportedly make a statement at 5:20 p.m. Eastern time. (Update: Obama's comments can be read or watched here.)
Mandela was most recently referenced here at Reason just this morning, as Nick Gillespie highlighted a New York Times story about the International Criminal Court, wondering if it would have charged Nelson Mandela with crimes during the struggle to recover from apartheid had it been around.
In 2010, Jesse Walker explored whether the armed struggle or peaceful civil disobedience played a larger role in ending apartheid.
From the Reason Archives: In Reason magazine's 35th anniversary, we named him one of our 35 Heroes of Freedom.