BOGOTA, April 17 (Reuters) - Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was a master of magical realism, died on Thursday. He was 87.
Tributes poured in from presidents, authors and pop stars:
U.S. President Barack Obama: "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 ... I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo's work will live on for generations to come.
Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, who also won the Nobel Prize and once punched Garcia Marquez during a dispute, leaving him with a black eye: "A great writer whose works brought wide knowledge and prestige to the literature of our language has died. His novels will outlive him and continue gaining readers from all over."
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who was a friend of Garcia Marquez: "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."
Colombian pop star Shakira: "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."
Chilean novelist Isabel Allende: "He gave me the motivation and freedom to launch myself into writing because in his books I found my own family, my country, characters familiar to me, the color and rhythm and abundance of my continent. My teacher has died y so as not to cry over him I'll carry on reading him time and again."
British novelist Ian McEwan: "He really was a one-off and one would really have to go back to (Charles) Dickens to find a writer of the very highest literary quality who commanded such extraordinary persuasive powers over whole populations, said McEwan. He said Garcia Marquez's work had "almost a Shakespearean quality."
Granma, the newspaper of Cuba's ruling Communist Party: "Latin American culture is in mourning. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died."
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff: "With his enchanting prose, Gabo, as he was known, led the reader through his imaginary Macondo as if he was showing a child a new world. His unique characters will remain fixed in the hearts and minds of millions of readers."
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos: "A thousand years of solitude and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time!"
Colombian pop star Juanes: "The greatest of us all goes, but his immortal legend stays."
(Reporting by Peter Murphy and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Kieran Murray)