updated 08/25/2015 AT 8:16 PM ET
•originally published 12/06/2013 AT 3:10 PM ET
“He was everything you’ve ever heard and more – humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke,” Oprah said. “Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time. He will always be my hero. His life was a gift to us all.”
Human-rights advocate Martin Luther King III, in a statement, also spoke out to pay tribute to Mandela’s invaluable impact on social justice.
“He was a symbol of dignity for people of African descent and for the poor and oppressed everywhere,” King said.
“Through his and his people’s long walk to freedom, Mr. Mandela’s constant fight for equality personified, what my father often said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ “
A Mandela School
In New York City, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Friday that the city would create a new high school to honor Mandela, and it’ll be housed in the same Brooklyn Boys & Girls Club that the leader visited in 1990, the New York Post reported.
Bloomberg said such a school was the perfect legacy for Mandela, who viewed education as transformational.