By Amie Parnes - 12/10/13 07:40 AM EST
President Obama at a memorial on Tuesday in South Africa called the late Nelson Mandela "the last great liberator of the 20th century" who "earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness" along with "persistence and faith."
Obama likened the late leader to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and said he "speaks to what is best inside us."
"His struggle was your struggle," Obama said, speaking at First National Bank Stadium before an estimated crowd of tens of thousands of people including British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Oprah Winfrey and Bono.
"His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy."