Nelson Mandela's Influence Around the World

Christiane Amanpour remembers the life of the inspirational South African Leader.
3:00 | 12/06/13

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Transcript for Nelson Mandela's Influence Around the World
Abc's christiane amanpour joins us now. You covered the struggle in south africa. His early days as president. One of the points you make, is he kept the country together in a time it could easily have been torn apart. Absolutely. His people say it's a miracle they pulled off that first election. Just as he came out of prison, there was still terrible violence from the apartheid, the zulus from the extremist white parties. There were killings and deaths. They pulled it off. And it was remarkable. If you ask people around the world who is the greatest hero, everybody will tell you nelson mandela because of his moral courage. And they say he didn't have bitterness. But actually, what he did was triumph over that bitterness, that resentment, that hatred for having been deprived of his life and his freedom. And he said, I could have been bitter. But that would have been to give into death and defeat. That is his absolute strength and his legacy. And so much of what you just said, you have lived and worked around the world. You're right. Everybody was familiar with nelson mandela. And it is unique when your legacy goes beyond your homeland. Absolutely. And you can see the tributes that have been pouring in today. The queen of england, the prime minister, obviously everybody here in the united states. All around the world. And in africa. One of the most incredible things. I've interviewed a lot of dictators. And I asked them, who are your heroes? And without a sense of, shred of irony, they say nelson mandela. It is a remarkable statement that. You also spoke last night with the adversary of whom he shared the nobel peace prize. S.W. De klerk, the white president of south africa, had brought him out and summoned him so he could take the measure of this man, knowing the negotiations had to happen to bring him out of prison and end apartheid. And I asked him, what did he think when he first saw him? And he said, even though I had read everything about him, I had been briefed, I was staggered by the dignity of this man. By the tallness of him. He said he stood straight in that africana accent. And I think what's remarkable to listen to mandela and the people around him, he said, we had to understand our adversaries. In prison, he got into the mind of the white man. He spoke afrikaans. I'm struck by how many stories must be being told all

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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