Eight months of civil war in Libya ended Thursday with the brutal death of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. With him ends 42 years of a bizarre era of brutality and dictatorship.

Gadhafi, 69, was killed along with his son Mo'tassim Gadhafi in Sirte.

The Libyan leader once called the mad dog of the Middle East by President Ronald Reagan was long feared by his countrymen, but met a humiliating death as he was dragged from a drain pipe before the public and then was shot while pleading for mercy.

The news was confirmed by the National Transitional Council, which informed news broadcaster Al Jazeera that the former leader has been captured by the rebel forces.

Making a statement from the White House Rose Garden, U.S. President Barack Obama said, [This] is a momentous day in the history of Libya. The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted. And with this enormous promise, the Libyan people now have a great responsibility -- to build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Qaddafi's dictatorship. We look forward to the announcement of the country's liberation, the quick formation of an interim government, and a stable transition to Libya's first free and fair elections.

Born in 1942 in a Bedouin tent, Gadhafi took over his nation's government in 1969. He was famous for his flamboyant image. He preferred young female bodyguards to males as they were less distracted while performing their duties. He also apparently had a fondness for Ukrainian nurses.

Celebrations began all over the world after word of Gadhafi’s death hit news channels.

With his death, Libya certainly ends an era of tyranny, but how soon and how effectively will it help bring peace and democracy to the strife-ridden country only time will tell.