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Local leaders tell Channel 3 News they’ll never forget their own conversations with Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95.

“You could feel the greatness of this man as you sat in his presence. You knew that he was a specially designed human being,” said Louis Stokes, the former Congressman from Cleveland.

President Nelson Mandela’s story of survival and triumph inspired men even 8000 miles away in Northeast Ohio.

“He never gave up. He never gave in. And he never gave out,” said The Rev. Hilton Smith. “He had a vision and he was victorious in his vision.”

Smith, now president of Cleveland’s NAACP chapter, met Nelson Mandela in New York in the 90s. Mandela was out of prison and trying to raise worldwide support for the end of Apartheid and the arrival of multi-racial elections.

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article courtesy of Wkyc.com

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