During the near century he spent in the world, Nelson Mandela brought down Apartheid, transformed his home country of South Africa into a model for the rest of the continent, and served as an inspiration to millions of people around the world. He was also quoted making a long list of pithy, but powerful, observations.
Mandela, who died at the age of 95 on Thursday, served as the first black president of South Africa, promoting national healing and reconciliation in the wake of the collapse of white-minority rule. His tireless work, which included more than two decades in prison, won him the Nobel Prize.
Here are six of Mandela’s best quotes, as compiled by USA TODAY:
- “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
- “If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”
- “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- “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.”
- “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”