"I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. . . And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him."

- President Obama

"His life's journey - from his stand against apartheid, his 27 years spent as a political prisoner and his tenure as the President of South Africa - is template for the highest form of a principled life."

- U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-Phila.

"His courage and influence and integrity transcended the leadership of one people to become a leader of humankind across the world. We're starving for his kind of leadership."

- Todd Bernstein, president,

Global Citizen, Philly resident helped oversee '94 elections in South Africa

"Mr. Mandela's unwavering commitment to justice and equality will continue to provide an example to politicians and activists for many generations."

- U.S. Sen. Bob Casey

"His jailers sat in the front row at his inauguration. I will never forget him, nor will the world."

- Colin Powell,

former Secretary of State

"Nelson Mandela was a personal inspiration to me and to so many others for the many sacrifices he made on behalf of the country he loved so dearly."

- U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah

"I had the honor of meeting President Mandela in Philadelphia in the 1990s, and he is one of the most remarkable and influential people I have ever met. . . . His idea for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was possibly one of the best ideas of any human."

- Mayor Nutter

"I had the privilege about two years ago to go to Robben Island and to see firsthand the very inhumane circumstances that he had to endure for a number of years. And then to come out and achieve what he achieved and be an inspiration around the world is worthy of note and an example to be followed."

- Rev. William B. Moore, pastor, Tenth Memorial Baptist Church,

North Philadelphia

"Nelson Mandela inspired people from thousands of miles away, myself included. Many people don't realize that Philadelphia was a hotbed of activism to fight for freedom for South Africa. We sent more people to national demonstrations, wrote more letters, and signed more petitions than any other city in the country. That's something we as a city should be extremely proud of."

- State Sen. Vincent Hughes

"It's difficult to imagine anyone on Earth has earned Rest more than Nelson Mandela. He was an amazing example of how to live a life. His commitment to nonviolence even after being wrongly imprisoned for 27 years should be an inspiration to all humans."

- Rees Brown, bartender,

Jose Pistola's, 15h Street near Manning, Center City

"Through his steadfast integrity, unyielding will and humility, he was a beacon to all who struggle against racism, tyranny and oppression in support of freedom, equality and dignity. President Mandela changed his country and the world, and his iconic example and lifelong efforts will not be forgotten."

- U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz