5 December 2013 1:55 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

var brightcovevideoid = '2898010499001'; Nelson Mandela, who heroically symbolized the longstanding fight against South Africa's white supremacist government - and rose from its victimized prisoner to his nation's powerful and compassionate leader - has died, according to South African President Jacob Zuma. He was 95. "My Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed. He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20h50 on the 5th of December 2013," Zuma said in a statement. "He is now resting. He is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son. »

- Stephen M. Silverman

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