Former South African President Nelson Mandela was revered throughout the world for leading the peaceful transition to multiracial democracy after three centuries of white domination in South Africa.

He was jailed for 27 years under white racist rule and released in 1990. He then steered the divided country from the apartheid era to an all-race democracy, becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994.

Mandela has moved people all over the world with his message of tolerance and peace. Here are some of his memorable quotes:

 

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”   (90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 2002)

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You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people you are with, and a sense of humor and a complete relaxation, even when you’re discussing serious things, does help to mobilize friends around you. And I love that.” (From an interview with Tim Couzens, Verne Harris and Mac Maharaj for Mandela: The Authorized Portrait, 2006)

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”  (From "Long Walk to Freedom," Mandela's 1995 autobiography.)

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"I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended." (Biography.com)

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"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (Biography.com)

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"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." (Biography.com)

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"Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden, but never extinguished." (Biography.com)

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"I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience." (Biography.com)

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I have always believed that to be a freedom fighter one must suppress many of the personal feelings that make one feel like a separate individual rather than part of a mass movement. One is fighting for the liberation of millions of people, not the glory of one individual. (From "Long Walk to Freedom," Mandela's 1995 autobiography,)

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“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity." (From an interview for the documentary "Mandela," 1994)

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.