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:
From South Africa ITV News Presenter Mark Austin writes on what the future holds for the new, post-Mandela, Rainbow Nation.
The rugby captain whose handshake with Nelson Mandela came to define the progress of post-apartheid South Africa pays tribute to his idol.