United States President Barack Obama released a statement on Thursday lamenting the death of Colombia’s celebrated writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez who passed away at the age of 87.
President Obama described Garcia Marquez as a “great visionary” and added that he has been”one of [my] favorite writers since I was young.”
Garcia Marquez was hospitalized in Mexico City with a lung infection from 31 March to 8 April, when he was discharged to finish his recovery at home, also in Mexico’s capital. However, in days leading up to the famed writer’s death, the author’s family warned of his weakening health due to cancer.
President Obama described meeting Garcia Marquez at a dinner in 2009 as a “privilege.” During the dinner, Garcia Marquez gave the US President a signed copy of his iconic “One Hundred Years of Solitude” which Obama “treasures” and called a “defining work of our time.”
The US President took a moment to recall Garcia Marquez, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, as “a proud Colombian who was a representative and voice for the people of the Americas, a master of the genre of ‘magical realism,’ motivating many people to pick up a pen and write.”
Former US President Bill Clinton also released a statement saying he was “always amazed by [Garcia Marquez’s] unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty. I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years.”
President Obama expressed his condolences to family and friends of the author and hoped they would find comfort in the fact that Garcia Marquez will live through his work for “generations to come.”