BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of state, writers and celebrities around the world Thursday mourned the death of Colombia's Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez known for his novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
U.S. President Barack Obama said through his spokesman that "with the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers -- and one of my favorites from the time I was young."
"As a proud Colombian, a representative and voice for the people of the Americas, and as a master of the 'magic realism' genre, he has inspired so many others -- sometimes even to pick up the pen themselves," Obama said.
As a friend of the late writer, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said "I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty. He captured the pain and joy of our common humanity in settings both real and magical. I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years."
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos announced three days of national mourning for the death of Garcia Marquez, and that the national flag be flown at half-staff at all public institutions in Bogota.
Santos said "the entire Colombia mourns for the most beloved and admired fellow of all times that has gone."
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said through his Twitter account, "Gabo left his spiritual print in the New Era of our America, one hundred years of love to his eternal spirit," adding that he "was part of a generation of innovative and compromised journalism with the happiness of its people." Garcia Marquez was known to millions simply as "Gabo."
Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez expressed his deep grief on Internet, saying "his passing is a loss of a great son for Latin America and Colombia."
Garcia Marquez was widely seen as the most popular writer in Spanish language since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, Nicaraguan former President and writer Sergio Ramirez Mercado said, adding "he had the capacity to see stories that many of us have in front of us and don't even notice. He was unique in that."
Colombian pop star Shakira said "your life, dear Gabo, will be remembered by all of us as a unique and singular gift, and as the most original story of all."
Garcia Marquez passed away at home on Thursday in Mexico City at the age of 87. He was admitted into a hospital on April 3 due to "dehydration and bronchial and urinary tract infections."
"One Hundred Years of Solitude," his masterpiece published in 1967, has been translated into 35 languages and sold more than 30 million copies.
Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez passes away at 87
MEXICO CITY, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Nobel Prize winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away Thursday in his home in Mexico City at the age of 87, local media reported.
Colombian Ambassador to Mexico Jose Gabriel Ortiz confirmed the news. Full story
Profile: Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez