People across the world are mourning the loss of civil rights champion Nelson Mandela and local leaders are also sharing memories of his life.
Nancy Soderberg former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says she had many meetings with former South African president Nelson Mandela.
"The world just lost an amazing icon."
Mandela was imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against apartheid.
Soderberg asked him once if he was bitter about the imprisonment.
"He looked and me and said, 'Not at all. I'm honored to be a part of something that's bigger than myself."
Soderberg mentions she often met with political prisoners but says none were like Mandela. Soderberg tells WOKV Mandela had a regal presence and a peace she'd never seen before.
"You could see this inner peace in him."
Mandela helped South Africa break the practice of racial segregation. He became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison.
President Obama and the First lady plan to visit South Africa to pay their respects next week. Mandela's burial is December 15th.