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Across the United States flags were at half mast, and a minute's silence was held at the New York stock exchange in Mandela's memory. But he was not always thought of so warmly.
As ITV's International Editor Bill Neely reports many US politicians who spent years siding with his apartheid oppressors were staying quiet:
The face of late South African president Nelson Mandela has been projected on the facade of Paris City Hall as France mourns his passing.
The US has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, with flags flying at half mast over government buildings and traders on the New York Stock Exchange observing a minute's silence in his honour.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, calling his death "the loss of a giant among us".
Ms Clinton said Mandela had "demonstrated unequivocally how each of us can choose how we will respond to those injustices and grievances, those sorrows and tragedies that afflict all of human kind".
President Barack Obama will go to South Africa next week to take part in memorial events for Nelson Mandela, the White House has announced.
"President Obama and the First Lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and to participate in memorial events", White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Crowds gathered outside Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg, have celebrated his life with music and dancing.
Flags are being flown at half mast at buildings across the world as a mark of respect at passing of Nelson Mandela.
The flags are flying at half mast and visitors are leaving tributes at the Nelson Mandela Museum in the former South African president's hometown of Qunu.
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