Reverend Jesse Jackson was one of the first people to greet Nelson Mandela the day he was released from prison after a 27-year confinement.
Reverend Jackson reflects on the moment.
Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, anti-apartheid icon, and famous political prisoner dies at 95.
Mandela's passing was announced late Thursday afternoon by South African President Jacob Zuma.
"Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," Zuma said. "What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
President Barack Obama, who met Mandela in 2005 said he could not fully imagine his own life without the example Mandela set.
"We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again – so it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love, to never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice," Obama said.
"For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice"
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was at Mandela's inauguration as president of South Africa - he remembers what made Mandela a great leader for his country.