The world lost an icon, but for some, a dear friend is gone.
Oprah Winfrey was one of the fortunate few to know and work closely with Nelson Mandela, who passed away today at the age of 95.
Nelson was a huge influence on Oprah, inspiring her to build the Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg and becoming a lifelong friend. Following the news of his passing, Oprah took to her social network to share her thoughts on the man she called her "hero".
One of the great honors of my life was to be invited to Nelson Mandela's home, spend private time and get to know him. He was everything you've ever heard and more – humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke. Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time. He will always be my hero. His life was a gift to us all.
Couldn't have said it better. The world has lost one of the greatest men of our generation, but his legacy will always live on!
[Image via Getty Images.]