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Nelson Mandela’s Death: Celebrities React on Twitter

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's iconic civil rights leader and first black president, died at 8:50 p.m. local time on Thursday, December 5, as announced by the country's current president, Jacob Zuma. Mr. Mandela, sometimes respectfully referred to as Madiba, was 95 years old.

He had been receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection. Mr. Mandela had spent three months in the hospital earlier this year and had been often in and out of care.

As a leading figure in the anti-apartheid movement, Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in prison. His recent lung infection was one of many such respiratory ailments he had suffered after contracting tuberculosis during his sentence. Four years after his release from prison in 1990, he was elected the first black president of the once heavily segregated country.

Even after the end of his one term as president, Mr. Mandela continued to serve as a role model to millions and was honored for his numerous contributions with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. His last public appearance was in 2010, when South Africa hosted soccer's World Cup.

As the news breaks about his passing, celebrities around the world have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on Mr. Mandela's legacy. Here are some reactions, in no particular order:

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

12.5.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Elisabeth Kramer
Related: News, Celebrity, Celebrity Deaths

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