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Mass. Officials Mourn Death Of Nelson Mandela

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South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela waves to supporters on his arrival in Phoenix, south of Durban 06 April 2004. (Photo credit RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela waves to supporters on his arrival in Phoenix, south of Durban 06 April 2004. (Photo credit RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts’ top political figures are mourning the death of Nelson Mandela.

Gov. Deval Patrick called the anti-apartheid leader “a remarkable and inspiring example of resilience, persistence, determination and grace, in his time and for all time.”

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey described Mandela as a “hero for the ages” and said that by “enduring the shackles of prison for nearly three decades, he freed the world from the scourge of apartheid.”

Related: Mandela’s 1990 Boston Visit

Congressman Joe Kennedy said Mandela “brought the light of justice to a world struggling against the darkness of oppression and hate.”

Boston Mayor Tom Menino said, “Nelson Mandela was truly a global statesman. Though I never had the honor of meeting him personally, I was always moved by his strength and bravery.

Rep. William Keating said, “Mandela’s life will not only serve as an inspiration for countless years to come but will also be the model for a life of fortitude, principle, civic service, and courage to better the world.”

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and a colossus of the 20th century, was already a world figure when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa.

He died Thursday at age 95.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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