I wrote this days ago but didn't post it. Now Mr. Mandela has passed away.
Rest in Peace, Nelson Mandela and I for one will always remember you with a smile on my face.
Today, in the New York Times, a video, looking back at his life, here.
It seems yet another film has been made about Nelson Mandela's life, this time, however, with the blessings and support of his immediate family.
This New York Times piece reminds me so clearly of the brief moment I met Mr. Mandela, a moment that I may have repeated often, but stands out more clearly today as I watch the political folly here in the US.
It was easy weather and I was outside 5 Penn Plaza. At that time both our NYC headquarters and the offices of CNN shared space on alternate sides of the building. Because of CNN's presence in the building, it was a frequent occurrence that popular figures in the news would appear and disappear suddenly on the stairs or on the busy thoroughfare of 8th Avenue waiting to be picked up by a taxi or a limo.
I don't know if I recognized him or just sort of fell into conversation with him because of his stature or the fact that he may have been with one or another of the cameramen I knew well.
Mr. Mandela, then, now more than a decade ago, was an imposing figure, tall, lean, and with the brightest smile this side of the Atlantic.
He was among, if not the single most generous of those news worthy figures to pop into or out of my vision and outings to the fresh air, little that there was, on this Avenue, and at this juncture of the City where not only is there heavy traffic but Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.