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Harry Belafonte significantly impacted the world during his time here, so it should come as no surprise that many fondly remember him following his passing.
On Tuesday, April 25, the world collectively grieved at the news that Harry Belafonte died at 96 from congestive heart failure.
Immediately following the news, his friends, peers, and admirers paid tribute to the “Calypso King,” who has sold millions of albums and used his earnings to fight for civil rights, South Africa’s anti-apartheid campaign, and other social justice matters around the world.
“Another “GREAT TREE” has fallen: Harry Belafonte, a Trailblazer and Hero to us all. Thank you for your music, your artistry, your activism, your fight for civil rights and justice—especially risking your life back in the day to get money to the movement. Your being here on Earth has Blessed us all,” Oprah Winfrey wrote in the caption of an Instagram post remembering Belafonte.
“Thank you for your music, your artistry, your activism, your fight for civil rights and justice — especially risking your life back in the day to get money to the movement,” Winfrey said in a statement to ET.
Barack Obama Remembers Harry Belafonte As A “Barrier-Breaking Legend”
“Harry Belafonte was a barrier-breaking legend who used his platform to lift others up. He lived a good life – transforming the arts while also standing up for civil rights. And he did it all with his signature smile and style. Michelle and I send our love to his wife, kids, and fans,” Our forever president, Barack Obama, said in a tweet.
Bernie Sanders Called Belafonte A “Courageous Leader”
“Harry Belafonte was not only a great entertainer, but he was a courageous leader in the fight against racism and worker oppression,” US Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted. “Jane and I were privileged to consider him a friend and will miss him very much.” Belafonte endorsed Sanders to be president in 2016.
Belafonte’s physical presence is gone, but he will live on forever because his spirit to fight is embued in souls worldwide. You can see more reactions in the gallery below.
“Harry Belafonte is one of the greatest social activists and freedom fighters ever to have lived,” said Cathy Hughes, Chairwoman & Founder of Urban One Inc. “Humanity has just suffered a significant wound to its consciousness.”
Photo: The Washington Post / Getty