Obama: Mandela A Hero To The World

6:49 AM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
President Obama speaks during a press conference with Senegal's President following meetings at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, June 27, 2013. (Photo credit Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - President Barack Obama says Nelson Mandela, the critically ill former South African president, is a hero for the world. He says Mandela's legacy will linger through the ages.

Mandela, 94, has been hospitalized since June 8 for what the South African government said was a recurring lung infection.

Obama said Mandela has been an inspiration to him. He said that Mandela's story of imprisonment and emergence as an iconic figure of reconciliation has given him a sense of what is possible when "righteous people, people of good will work together for a larger cause."

He calls Mandela a personal hero.

Obama spoke during a press conference in Dakar with Senegalese President Macky Sall. He was scheduled to travel to South Africa on Friday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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