New Pope Francis saluted him for "promoting the human dignity of all the nation's citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Mandela's example "enabled us to know what we can become." President George H. W. Bush called him "a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country." His son, ex-President George W. Bush, said Mandela was "one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time," who "bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example."
Former President Jimmy Carter added: "His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide." Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded Mandela for serving "the cause of human progress."
In Myanmar, democracy crusader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was held under house arrest for 15 years, said: "He made us all understand that nobody should be penalized for the color of their skin or for the circumstances in which he is born. He also made us understand we can change the world by changing attitudes, by changing perceptions."
Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation fights poverty and AIDS in developing countries including South Africa, said: "From prisoner to president, Nelson Mandela was tireless in his pursuit of equality and justice for all people."
Musician Bono added: "Nelson Mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence, but because he learned that love would do a better job."
Musician Paul Simon agreed: "He conceived a model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through compassion to rebuild a nation based on truth, justice and the power of forgiveness."
Human rights advocate Martin Luther King III said Mandela echoed King's father's maxim that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."Humanity is better today because Nelson Mandela lived.