On Nelson Mandela

Levi Strauss & Co.
December 1, 2013

I am honored to be able to express my deep admiration and respect for Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president and a man who has had a profound impact on many people’s lives, including mine.

Observing reactions over the past few days, from global leaders to ordinary people, reaffirmed for me the truly iconic status that Nelson Mandela holds universally. The fact that he is loved and revered throughout the world reverberates in the countless personal testimonies that have been shared by people from all walks of life.

The historical facts of Mandela’s life, remarkable though they are, don’t fully describe the importance of a man who embodied strength of character, a commitment to ideals and a capacity for forgiveness to which we can only aspire.

We at Levi Strauss & Co., together with the rest of the world, mourn Mandela’s passing and pay tribute to him. Through his humility, humanity and selflessness, he became the conscience of South Africa and, arguably, the world.

In honor of Nelson Mandela’s memory, the Levi Strauss Foundation is making a donation of US$25,000 to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

In his life, he was a true inspiration for all people around the world. In his passing, it’s clear that his indelible legacy will continue.

Image: Rain-soaked mourners at a Mandela memorial service in Soweto, South Africa; Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy