- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is praising author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel as “one of the great moral voices of our time, and in many ways, the conscience of the world.”

Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial announced Saturday that Wiesel had died at the age of 87.

In a statement, Obama says he first came to know Wiesel through his account of the horror he endured simply because he was Jewish. Later, Obama says, he came to regard Wiesel as a dear friend.

Obama says he was especially grateful for talks they shared on topics ranging from the meaning of friendship to their shared commitment to the state of Israel.

Obama says Wiesel raised his voice, not just against anti-Semitism, but against hatred, bigotry and intolerance in all its forms.

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