In the wake of Nelson Mandela's death, he leaves behind a
"His life will continue to
live on through a great legacy," said C.G. Newsome, president of the National
Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
At 95 years old, Mandela was a
man of great influence.
"People knew that he had
gone to prison fighting for their cause, fighting for their freedom," said
Nathaniel Jones, a retired federal judge who met Mandela in South Africa in the
During his first visit to South
Africa, Jones was actually arrested for violating apartheid laws. But, on
a second trip several years later, he met Mandela at banquet. He was
visiting the country that time with a group providing help to lawyers defending
people being arrested over those apartheid laws.
"They put us next to him at
dinner, so we had the whole evening of conversation," Jones said.
Mandela was elected president in
1994. Just a year later, a turning point in South African history took
place over the country's rugby team during a World Cup match against New
"He's a great
humanitarian. He bridged the gap through sports. Sports are very
interesting. It's amazing what sports can do when bringing people
together," said Ken Riley, a former Cincinnati Bengals player.
"Sport has the power to
change the world," said Mandela in a speech he made several years ago.
The Freedom Center honored
Mandela earlier this year. Officials there say his life and struggles
should live on as an inspiration.
"We have both seen the
passing of a great soul, but in a way that that soul led the kind of life that
should inspire us all to become our better selves," Newsome told FOX19.