Playwright, poet and politician Vaclav Havel led the charge to peacefully bring down communism in Czechoslovakia proving the power of the people to overcome totalitarian rule.
The dissident playwright was an unlikely hero of his nation’s 1989 “Velvet Revolution” after four decades of suffocating repression.
He was his country’s first democratically elected president, leading it through the early challenges of democracy.
He wrote over 20 plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally and received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom among other awards worldwide. A lover of jazz, he once asked Frank Zappa to be his Minister of Culture, which the US did not allow).
At the time of his death he was Chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation.
(WATCH the video below or read the tribute from AP via USA Today)