He was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.
It is hard to eulogize any man – to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person – their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.
He was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.
I loved Spock. Long before being nerdy was cool, there was him.
He was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it. By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity.
Once called 'America's tuning fork', he believed deeply in the power of song. Over the years, he used his voice – and his hammer – to strike blows for worker's rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to him.
I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.
She was one of our nation’s most cherished entertainers. Over the years, she warmed the hearts of countless Americans with her beautiful voice and dramatic performances on screen. From the time her grandmother signed her up for a NAACP membership as a child, she worked tirelessly to further the cause of justice and equality. In 1940, she became the first African American performer to tour with an all white band.
He was one of America’s greatest satirists and, like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago’s Second City. When we watched his movies – from ‘Animal House’ and ‘Caddyshack’ to ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ – we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings.
The closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of his legacy. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of our relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.
With his passing, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers – and one of my favorites from the time I was young. His work will live on for generations to come. I once had the privilege to meet him in Mexico, where he presented me with an inscribed copy that I cherish to this day.
Over the course of her remarkable life, she was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer, and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings dealt with the racism and family trauma of her upbringing. A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking – but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow.
At this challenging time, the United States reaffirms its support for the people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the government. As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.
With the passing of the General, we've lost an American original. From his decorated service in Vietnam to the historic liberation of Kuwait and his leadership of United States Central Command, he stood tall for the country and Army he loved.
He may have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, his quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could.
As a grocer's daughter who rose to become Britain's first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom's promise.
For many Americans, the news of his death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But he also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values.
For him, journalism was more than a profession – it was a public good vital to our democracy. A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told – stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better.