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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 6, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PST

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from around the world. stay ahead on cnn. .
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remembering nelson mandela. the world mourning the loss of a legend morning. the south african president hailed for his courage, his conviction, his decency.
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i'm john berman. >> i'm michaela pereira. we welcome our viewers in the u.s. and arnold the world. >> this is a special edition of "early start" beginning this morning because the world is grieving and, in some ways, celebrating a giant among men. nelson mandela whose unbreakable will and unsurpassed courage brought an end to an era of white domination in south africa. he is dead this morning at the age of 95. mandela was such a global icon with larger than life legend who went from a prison cell to the presidency and he did it with such unmashed grace. i want to bring in arwa damon when is live in johannesburg in south africa. >> reporter: nelson mandela a hero, a legend, an icon.
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so many of the people we are speaking to here will say that hardly truly encompasses what it was that he meant for this nation and what it was that he allowed this nation to become. behind me is the house where he did pass away. the crowd has been gathered here ever since that news came out last night. people showing up in their pajamas. the crowd slowly growing throughout the morning and people chanting and singing songs from the days of the revolution and singing songs about struggle. he passed away as you will well remember after battling a long infection for quite some time and taking a turn for the worse over the summer before being moved here to this home where he was under intensive care. it would seem his body was rejecting antibiotics. he passed away. the body move to a military hospital in pretoria where will be embombed and moved to the
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johy johannesburg to the stadium where the world cup was held then a state funeral. a lot of people are saying when they heard the news they felt a certain level of joy and happiness because he was so ill in those final years and because they felt as if he could now finally meet up with his ancestors, finally rest in peace. behind me also not just the singing and the chanting, a number of children have come together out of painted rocks. they created the lettering, we love you, mandela. people have been laying flowers and light candles as well. when we speak about the profound impact that nelson mandela made for this nation, they cannot be overemphasize overemphasized. the fact he moved from prison
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from reconciliation rather than revenge. a 23-year-old university student said had mandela had not made those choices he would not be getting the education he is getting. so many people calling and commenting on how if mandela had not been the man that he was, this country could have very easily ended up like syria or iraq. another policeman we were speaking to this morning saying with nelson mandela's passing he felt he had lost a part of his soul and a part of his body and that he truly hopes moving forward the country and its leaders will remember what it was that this incredible man stood for. john? >> it is so remarkable. arwa damon, thank you. she brings up such a good point. words like legend don't begin to cut when twhen you deal with nelson mandela. when you're in south africa he is more than a leader and more than a legend. he's in the fabric of that nation and some one's sole they carry a piece of him around.
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>> a very interesting point given what we know is going on in the middle east now the connection she made the country could have ended you up differently if it wasn't for his sacrifices. >> no way inevitable there would not be chaos there. let's talk about the influence from around the world. the moment the news of his death broke the tribute start pouring in. it was like the world has lost a father. let's get the international reaction from erin mclaughlin. we are talking about the fact he was seen as the father of south africa but the influence and the fact he was an icon around the world shows you what a larger than life man he was. >> absolutely, michaela. people here this morning stopping to pay tribute outside the south africa house in london. they are leaving candles and flowers and cards thanking nelson mandela for everything he has done.
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saying how much they would miss him. sentiment is being echoed around the world. >> tonight, one of the brightest lights of our world has gone out. >> reporter: news of his death traveled swiftly around the world. in the uk, prince william and kate heard the news while attending the uk premiere of the film "mandela long walk to freedom." >> tragic news. we are reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man nelson mandela was. >> reporter: hours before signing autographs on the red carpet, british actor elba who portrayed the south african icon in the film shared this story from one of mandela's daughters. >> in his own words, he said, i'm not sick. i'm just old. >> reporter: after hearing of mandela's passing the actor said in a statement to cnn, what an honor it was to step into the shoes of nelson mandela.
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my thoughts and prayers are with his family. at the united nations, silence. remembrance of his enormous impact. >> no one more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the united nations. nelson mandela showed what -- and given each one of us, if we believe. >> reporter: today he is remembered in every corner of the globe. the australian prime minister. >> nelson mandela was one of the great figures of africa. one of the great figures of the last century arguably. a truly great man. >> in canada where in 2001, mandela became the first honorary citizen of ottawa, the prime minister said the world has lost one of the great moral leaders. >> despite his long captainity,
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mr. mandela left prison with his mind closed to any settling of scores and his heart open to those he had fought against. >> mandela in his fight for equality influenced not just world leaders, but also the people of the world. >> it's been an inspiration for generations growing up. he stood for the civil rights, not just people in south africa but people around the world and his legacy goes on. >> reporter: people here continuing to leave notes. one of them read, thank you for creating a pathway to freedom for all of us, a message that is being heard here and in other countries as well. michaela? >> very moving indeed. erin mclaughlin, thank you for that. >> the tributes are pouring in from all over the world this morning. president obama had some very, very poignant words to honor the late president of south africa. he actually invoked words that were used at president lincoln's
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funeral. >> he no longer belongs to us. he belongs to the ages. through his fierce dignity and bending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, madiba transformed south africa and moved all of us. his journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the presence that human beings and countries can change for the better. his commitment to transfer pour and reconcile for those who jailed him set an example that all humanity took inspire to whether the lives of nations or our own personal lives. the fact did he it all with grace, with humor, and the ability to acknowledge his own imperfections only makes the man that much more remarkable. >> well said. the president also said that mandela inspired him. protests against the apartheid
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in south africa was the president's first foray in politics. george w. bush said, quote, nelson mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers wrong 26 years of wrongful imprisonment and setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us you will. >> president george h.w. bush said the following. >> president clinton was in the white house when mandela was elected president of south africa. clinton saying the following.
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>> former president jimmy carter paying tribute to nelson mandela saying, his passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations that have impressed people worldwide. the president of the united states often referred to as the leader of the free world but yet you can see from the statements in each of these men, they were in awe of nelson mandela. >> and a simple beginning to life. when you look at the place where he is going to be buried and cnn will be taking you through the days of mourning, ten days of morning in sfrouth africa. he had the desire to be buried in his hometown. >> he is going home. >> yes, he is going home. >> we will continue to bring you the life of nelson mandela all morning. now to another big story. >> the weather. when we come back, we are going to tell you about this deadly winter storm that is wreaking havoc across our country. hundreds of flights have already been canceled. roads are choked with ice. >> the worst of the damage to tell you what is still coming on the way. [ male announcer ] this is jim,
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we will have much more on nelson mandela's life and death in a moment. first, some other headlines that are developing this morning. >> we are watching this deep freeze that is blanketing virtually all of the u.s. and causing nightmares in the road and in the air. more than 500 flights have been
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precanceled across the country because of this bitter weather. >> getting around by car is a major risk as well. look at this. this was a seven vehicle wreck along interstate 540 in northern arkansas. four people sent to the hospital there and their injuries are luckily not life-threatening. >> emergency officials in oklahoma saying most roads in the entire state are slick and are hazardous. a state of emergency has been declared in all 77 counties. the state is now activated an emergency operation center to help people after the accidefecd weather. three people have already been injured. >> in denver, minus 15 yesterday! >> ouch. >> drivers gripping their steering wheels tight. a good idea. look at that. the city is dealing with packed snow and ice on the roadways and highways and more snow in the forecast for tomorrow night. big question now is what can we expect today?
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>> we will ask that question to chad myers who is taking an early look at at this. >> i know it is warm where you are but it is not in the mi midwest. the arcic is on the ground and warm air is riding on top and that warm air is creating an ice storm. there are lots of people this morning waking up without power throughout the midwest from dallas through little rock and west of memphis up to paducah, ice on the ground and more to come. airports will be very slow today. even with the fog in the northeast and all that, yes, but even if your plane is not in the northeast and maybe coming through maybe one of these midwest airports that will being affect later on today. it's all gone for saturday. the only bad news there is another storm system that could affect the northeast especially d.c. and baltimore for sunday and into monday with more ice. we're in a very cold pattern when it tries to rain on top of cold air that is always a mess.
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>> a mess indeed. thank you so much, chad. coming up, we will take a complete look back from nelson mandela's life from childhood and beyond. our special coverage of madiba continues.
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this morning we are looking back at the life of nelson
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mandela. a courageous soul with unmatched grace and dignity but his willingness to use force as a young man that changed the course of history. we get more from cnn's robin curnow. >> reporter: nelson mandela's struggle for freedom was his life. he was given a nickname that meant troublemaker and only given the name nelson by a school teacher later on. after moving to johannesburg and studying law, as a boxer he would pick fights and sparring with the apartheid authorities which had increased.
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he was militant and a fire brand and burning his passbook a dreaded boumt the apartheid authorities used to control the movements of south africa's black population. >> the africans require the franchise on the ages of one man, one vote. >> reporter: that simple demand and methods mandela took to fight for democracy saw him and others tried for treason. but they got life in prison instead and to robben island. another political prisoner remembers the first time he saw mandela in the prison yard. >> i could see from the way he walked and from his conduct that he was a man already stamping his authority on prison regime.
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>> reporter: mandela was relieved 27 years later. >> i have spoken about freedom in my lifetime. your commitment at your discipline has released me to stand before you today. >> reporter: his lack of bitterness toward the apartheid authorities helped him lead one of the remarkable transitions in the 20th century. mandela the trade lawyer and lifelong rebel outmaneuvered the apartheid leaders and he transitioned south africa's transition to peace. the leader f.w. de klerk. >> one thing of the republic and all it's been. >> reporter: then he became
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south africa's first black president in 1994. >> so help me god. >> what marks mandela's career as president, almost more than nils, is after five years, he stepped down. there have been very few presidents in africa who have given up willingness. >> don't call me! i'll call you! >> reporter: his retirement years were busy with fund-raising for charities close to his heart. he celebrated his 90th birthday with much fan fare. and told cnn in a rare interview that looking back, he wouldn't do anything differently. >> i don't regret it because they gave me things that pleased myself. >> reporter: now those who loved and respected him look to his legacy. >> and if we want to learn from
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him, learn that life is not made of straight victories. it's made of mistakes, success, and stumbling, picking yourself up and dusting off the dirt, treating the bruises and walking again forward, and that is what mandela is. >> good-bye. >> reporter: robin curnow, johannesburg, south africa. >> things that please my eye. >> twinkle in his eye that never faded. >> we can all learn a great lesson from that great life. >> we are live in south africa with the latest reaction that is happening there all day and the coming days right after the break.
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remembering an icon a hero, a legend. this morning special coverage of the former south african president's life whose message of equality changed the world. >> welcome back to "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm michaela pereira. we welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the globe. welcome to an early edition of "early start." a whole lot of tears and wishful smiles as the world pauses to remember nelson mandela. his unbreakable spirit squashed apartheid. few could change soment hearts and minds in the face of such duress. arwa damon is life in johannesburg, south africa this morning. i can imagine it's very moving to see this. it's both a beautiful and
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saturday' celebratory looking at his life. >> reporter: it most certainly is. this is a nation in morning but this is also a nation that is celebrating the memory of this legendary individual that few can, in fact, find words to describe. we are in front of his house in johannesburg. it was here he passed away at 10 to 9:00 at night from there he was moved on to a military hospital in pretoria and his body will be embalmed the next few days and then moved to the soccer stadium in johannesburg where it will be set for a public memorial. from there on to pretoria and it will lie in state in casket and then to his an ancestorial home.
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a lot of the scenes here remembering the struggle that this nation went through as a whole, but also really remembering what it was that nelson mandela meant and the critical choice that he made after he was relieved from prison, the choice of reconciliation rather than revenge. a lot of people were we are talking to are saying, yes, it pains them but, at the same time, they are feeling a certain level of joy and happiness because they say of his illness, that recurring lung infection, now he would finally be able to rest in peace. the profound impact he's had on this country. so many here are really struggling to put their emotions like a 23-year-old black university student we spoke to who said his parents did not have the life that he had. they were not able to go to school but because of what nelson mandela did, because what he allowed and facilitated this
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nation to become he was able to go to school and have an equal opportunity in education. one police officer we were speaking to say he was jailed during the years of apartheid standing up against that government and now he felt he lost a part of his soul but he, too, was feeling a profound sense of joy. but also hoping that coming out of all of this, the country's people and the country's leaders will truly remember what it was that nelson mandela represented and the sentiment that we have standing out here amongst all of this, there's families here, there's children here. it's really one -- yes, again, as we say of a nation in mourning, but it's also quite uplifting as this country remembers a most remarkable man. >> arwa damon with a live image there. the streets around his home in south africa, the celebration on the streets, thank you so much for that look and also for looking forward too.
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that is the next question is looking forward for the future. >> the images and the sound just listening to people there. the celebration of such a life there. i want to hear much more about that life. our next guest was in prison on robben island there. he joins us now from london. thank you so much for being with us this morning, sir. let me first start off by saying we are so sorry for the national loss, for your country and also your personal ross of your friend. this morning what are your feelings? what are your thoughts, sir? >> my thoughts and feelings are with the family of mr. mandela, his children, his grandchildren, his wife. i know that south africans and his friends around the world feeling the sense of loss today. identify implcompletely with th feelings. >> you were in prison with nelson mandela. talk to us about that
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experience. >> i got to robben island in 1977. i was 21 years of age at the time. a fester university student. the odd thing is i didn't recognize mr. mandela on day one when i met him. this was september or so of 1977. he seemed like one other pretty mucher we met but there was something odd about this prisoner. he was not in a hurry when he met with us. about a half of dozen of us had gone to a reception and we met with him. he had just come out of the office of the commanding officer there and looked us all in the eye and we had a chat and it was -- he clearly was an amazing presence but, at the time, i didn't know who this man was. i later learned about a week or
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so that the man we had met was mr. mandela. >> that is an amazing story. we have heard from american presidents over the last day who really seem to be in awe of nelson mandela. they treat him like he truly was different. to you, what made him so special? >> i think what made -- by the way, i don't think i realized just quite how important mr. mandela was in all of the years that i spent with him in pretty much. the first two years, we didn't see a lot of him. i was in a section that wasn't allowed to interact with people in his section. i don't think at the time i recognized and realized how important mr. mandela was to
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south africa and world politics. the first time i realized was the first concert in london, i just got a shock of my life and realized for the first time just how important mr. mandela was and the gravitose he is recognized. he became an important member of our organization and nothing more. >> tell me, when he did get out of prison, did it surprise you that he chose reconciliation over revenge? >> no. i wasn't surprised at all. from the time i met him in prison, he was feeling that different change between changing the system under which we lived, that should be our focus, and we should not focus on individuals who might or may
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not be playing at the time, may not be playing an important role in constructing the system. he had a fairly remarkable situations with orders and as one of the young stars who came into prison at the time, a little -- i must admit. a few of us in large part of people who paid in there. i don't think we paced ourselves for the time we would spend in prison. we learned a lot from people who had been there in time and in time were able to pace ourselves and able to cultivate relationships that were good with -- and that made for little comfort, for example, getting these folks -- by these folks, prison wards to help informing us of what was happening on the outside. at the time we weren't allowed newspapers, no way to have news
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so it was a huge sense of isolation from the outside world. once you got used to these folks and got to know them as people, they too became very helpful and assisted us in getting to know what has happening in the outside world. >> it is so unimaginable for most of us. the question is what now for south africa? do you think anything will change there now that he has passed? >> i think south africa is going to have to land and do so very quickly to get and cultivate people who would play the role that mr. mandela played. we still need those people. the country is not in the greatest of shape right now. the economy is not working as well as it should. a fair amount of poverty in the country. there are huge number of people who exist and all of those can be corrected and i'm sure we have it within ourselves to correct those problems. but the folks who are going to have to lead us into that phase
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of the struggle are going to be people who are going to have to be as remarkable as mr. mandela. obviously, focusing on the challenges that the country is facing now. apart from south africa, our region is facing very specific challenges and i'm actually convinced we can stand up to those challenges and meet them, but that is going to require very special men and women to lead south africa and the countries in the region for us to get our countries out of the positions in which they are in. >> men and women who have learned lessons from nelson mandela. khela, thank you for your time. >> thank you. back in the 1960s, he made it clear he was prepared to die and he almost did. after nearly three decades in prison, he ascended to the
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presidency. a survivor turned skilled politician. we get more on mandela's remarkable transition from cnn's robin curnow. >> it was here in johannesburg, an amateur boxer and lawyer, as well as of the united of congress, the young mandela made a crucial mandela made a decision to be prepared for the worst even when he and others were tried for treason and punishab punishable by death. >> i am prepared to die. >> those words read from this original transcript from 1964 still resonate from one of the legal leaders from that case.
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>> they were the last words that nelson mandela would utter in public the next 27 years. mandela got life imprisonment and sent to robben island. while there he worked towards freedom which seems so far away because south africa's townships were burning. state of imagiemergency was in t and apartheid never seemed stronger but he took a chance and started to negotiate with the apartheid government. >> because he has said it on occasion that there comes a time when a leader has to lead. >> reporter: an apartheid minister at the time and the eventual president, f.w. de klerk remembers his encounter he considered a terrorist. >> my very first meeting with him, anyone what to expect and there he was standing taller than i expected. being, obviously, a man of
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integrity. >> reporter: in his own political bravery, de klerk relieved mandela in 1990. in the next four years, the ever astute lawyer, mandela spearheaded the negotiations for a new constitution and democracy. it was only in these years before south africans voted in their first democratic election that mandela and the aids renounced violence and their arms struggled. it had been a long war. >> so help me god. >> on the day when he was inducted as president, he stood there and the union building and he took my hand and he put his arm around me and we showed a unity which i think resounded throughout south africa and across the world. >> i will count myself as the man of our society. >> reporter: mandela's presidency was marked by reconciliation but mandela gave up much more than he
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acknowledged. he admitted he would have liked to have spent more time with his family. in a rare interview with cnn on his 90th birthday. is there anything you wish you had done differently? i've spoken to your wife and to many of your grandchildren and they suggested that perhaps you would have wished you had spent more time with your family. is that something you think about as you look back? >> i'm sure many people that wish that and i also have that wis wish, that i spend more time with my family. >> reporter: so is that a regret of yours? >> i don't regret it because the things that affected me with things that pleased my soul. so i don't regret it. >> reporter: a man who went looking back over his life, acknowledged that sacrificing his family life was for the greater good. >> thank you.
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thank you. >> reporter: robin curnow, cnn, johannesburg. >> we will have continuing special coverage this morning of the life of nelson mandela, his message and his legacy. we have another big story that is impacting much of our country. a deadly winter storm. it has done a whole lot of damage and there is plenty more, we are told, on the way. ♪
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the deep freeze is blanketiblanke blanketing all of the virtually and causing problems on the road and in the air. what can we expect today into the weekend? >> let's get an early look from chad myers. >> i know it is warm where you are but it is not in the midwest. the arctic is on the ground and warm air is riding on top and that warm air is creating an ice storm. there are lots of people this morning waking up without power throughout the midwest from
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dallas through little rock and west of memphis up to paducah, already ice on the ground and more to come. airports will be very slow today. even with the fog in the northeast and all that, yes, but even if your plane is not in the northeast and maybe coming through maybe one of these midwest airports that will be affected later on today. it's all gone for saturday. the only bad news there is another storm system that could affect the northeast, especially d.c. and baltimore for sunday and into monday with more ice. we're in a very cold pattern when it tries to rain on top of cold air, that is always a mess. back to you guys. >> a mess, indeed. coming up for us next. remembering nelson mandela. the impact he really has had on so many people all around the world. we are going to have a look back at the rock star welcome that awaited him here in the united states just after his release from prison. that is coming up neck.
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some some ways the beatles had nothing on nelson mandela. when the father of south africa democracy visited the united states in 1990 he had just been relieved from prison and he was greeted like a rock star but he was so much more than that.
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>> reporter: it was, without a doubt, a hero's welcome. for many americans, unforgettable excitement when they saw nelson mandela touch down in the united states for the first time in june 1990. mandela embarked on a world tour just months after his release from a south african prison, after more than 27 years behind bars. >> my wife and i are deeply moved by the reception. we are truly among our own brothers and sisters. >> reporter: millions followed his eight-city cross-country tour. one of his first stops? new york's yankee stadium, where some have said he hit it out of the park. >> you now know who i am. i am a yankee! >> when he put that yankee cap on and said, "i am a yankee,"
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naturally the people all loved him. >> reporter: mandela also visited president george h.w. bush in our nation's capital and made stops in other cities, including atlanta, miami, and detroit. on the west coast, tens of thousands turned out for the ultimate pageant of praise. mandela is hailed by many as the father of democracy and throughout the years, united nations was often at the top of his itinerary. >> throughout the many years of struggle, we, as south africans, have been great deal inspired as you took action to ask -- >> reporter: his work garnering countless awards in the u.s. he accepted alongside president jimmy carter to the honorary doctrine he received from harvard. he will be remembered most for ending apartheid and being
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welcomed as the first black president of south africa? the first open election in that country's history. always a fighter, mandela showed his unwavering support during one of our darkest moment, tour ground zero two months after the september 11th terrorist attacks. >> i am happy, indeed, to be here, to be here to express my sympathies directly at the center of the tragedy. thank you very much. >> reporter: in his last visit to the city in 2005, mandela thanked new yorkers for his solidarity and support to end apartheid. >> we are here to say thanks to those who gave to us when they had nothing for themselves. >> people in our country, new york particularly, i think look at him and think of martin luther king who said, turn the other cheek.
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he is just an amazing man. >> how many amazing journeys he had here in the united states. >> right here in the united states. >> incredible to see. "early start" continues right now. remembering nelson mandela. this morning the world remembering that man, mourning the loss of a legend. south africa's former president hailed for his courage and decency and message of equality. welcome to "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm michaela pereira. it is 5:00 in the east. nelson mandela whose unbreakable willnd