Global leader had far-reaching impact

Published 12/06 2013 09:53AM

Updated 12/06 2013 09:57AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Millions around the world are remembering an iconic leader. Crowds gathered outside Nelson Mandela's home Thursday night. The former South African leader died there earlier in the day.

But, his reach is global. One UI professor lived in South Africa while Mandela was president. She didn't know him personally, but didn't have to to feel his presence.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting against apartheid. When he was released, Teresa Barnes lived in Zimbabwe. This is a picture of her and her newborn son welcoming Mandela home that year.

He became the first black president of South Africa. Barnes describes those five years as hopeful after many years of oppression and injustice. She says his death brings a profound sadness to South Africa.

Mandela had been battling a lung infection. The President of Zimbabwe says Mandela will have a full state funeral.

President Obama addressed the nation earlier Thursday. He says all U.S. flags should be flown at half-staff until Monday.

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