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Nelson Mandela dies at age 95

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Nelson Mandela has died. The former boxer, lawyer and freedom fighter renounced violence and became the one of the world's most beloved statesmen. Mandela, who was 95, emerged from prison to negotiate a peaceful end to white minority rule. He was later elected president of South Africa. His death was announced by South African President Jacob Zuma, who said "we've lost our greatest son."

President Barack Obama says the world has lost an influential, courageous and 'profoundly good' man with the death of Mandela.

Obama says Mandela "no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages."

Speaking from the White House, Obama said he was one of the countless millions around the world who was influenced by Mandela.

Obama met with Mandela's family earlier this year when he visited South Africa. But he did not meet with the ailing leader, who was hospitalized throughout the U.S. president's visit.

Muhammad Ali is remembering Mandela as a symbol of forgiveness who overcame racial injustice as the boxing great joins in mourning the death of the anti-apartheid leader.

An Ali Center spokeswoman in Louisville said Thursday that the two icons met twice, once in South Africa and once in North America.

Ali said in a statement released by the Ali Center that Mandela inspired others to "reach for what appeared to be impossible" and to break through barriers. He said the South African leader could not be restrained by racial and economic injustices, and that Mandela taught forgiveness "on a grand scale."

Among the exhibits at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville is a photo of Ali and Mandela, their hands clenched into fists as if they're boxing.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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