Nelson Mandela was born in a small village in South Africa’s eastern Cape in 1918, the youngest son of a counselor to the chief of the Thembu clan. He is pictured in about 1950, six years after he founded the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.
Mandela died on Dec. 5, 2013, at the age of 95. (via Nbc)
Photo above: After more than 27 years in detention, Mandela walks out of the Victor-Verster Prison in Paarl on Feb. 11, 1990, accompanied by his wife Winnie. (© Greg English)
Mandela, center, stands amid a gathering of other co-defendants during the Treason Trial. (© Barry Von Below)
Nelson and Winnie Mandela watch a performance at a homecoming party after his release from prison. Feb 23, 1990. (© Peter Turnley)
In 1993, Mandela is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside then South African President F.W. de Klerk, whose rapprochement with Mandela and the ANC helped engineer the end of apartheid.
Mandela greets the crowds on the campaign trail in February 1994 as South Africa readies for its first all-race general election. (© David Brauchli)
Mandela takes the oath on May 10, 1994, during his inauguration in Pretoria as the country’s first black president. “The time for the healing of the wounds has come,” Mandela said. “The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.” (© Walter Dhladhla)
Mandela tours Cape Town’s Eerste River township in November 2000. The year before, he opted to not contest for re-election, giving way to his party deputy Thabo Mbeki. Under Mbeki’s ANC government, economic — less than racial — inequality would come to define South Africa in the post-apartheid era.
Mandela and Pope John Paul II listen to national anthems after meeting at Johannesburg International Airport on Sept. 16, 1995, at the start of the pope’s first official visit to South Africa. (© Luciano Mellace)
Mandela shows U.S. President Bill Clinton Cell No. 5 at Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years, on March 27, 1998. Clinton lauded Mandela for surviving the experience without “having his heart turned into stone.”
Mandela celebrates his 89th birthday with a group of young people at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Johannesburg on July 24, 2007. After his retirement from politics Mandela remained involved in social issues through the Children’s Fund and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a charity set up in 1999. (© Alexander Joe)
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama visits Mandela at his home in Johannesburg on June 21, 2011, accompanied by her mother and daughters.They are pictured reading his newest book, titled “Nelson Mandela by himself.” (© Debby Yazbek)
Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the village of Mviza in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. His father was a counselor to a local king. He chose for his son the name Rolihlahla, which translated from Xhosa means literally “pulling a branch off a tree” — or, more colloquially, “troublemaker.” A schoolteacher would confer upon him the name Nelson. (via)
A jubilant Sowetan holds up a newspaper announcing Mandela’s release from prison at a mass rally in Soweto on Feb. 11, 1990. (© Trevor Samson)
Returning to South Africa, Mandela was captured and sentenced to five years for incitement and illegally leaving the country. In 1964 he was among eight men sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia trial after being convicted of conspiracy and sabotage. In this picture taken in June 1964, the eight men leave the Palace of Justice in Pretoria, their fists raised in defiance through the barred windows of the prison van.
Nelson and Winnie Mandela join a group of clergymen and embassy officials on a visit to the Tokoza township on Dec. 12, 1990, in an effort to bring peace to the area where 83 people had lost their lives in clashes between Zulu and Xhosa factions in the previous five days. (© Walter Dhladhla)
Mandela lays a brick at the Rolihlahla primary school in Ikhutseng, Warrenton, in the Northern Cape Province, on Aug. 31, 1996. Mandela’s government launched a major reconstruction and development programme in an attempt to address South Africa’s socioeconomic problems, but poor housing, crime and unemployment continued to blight the country. (© Anna Zieminski )
Mandela (2nd from right) returns to court in 1956. Alongside 155 other activists Mandela was charged with high treason, but the charges against him were dropped after a four-year trial.
Schoolchildren read about Mandela’s life at a school in his home village of Qunu ahead of the opening of a container library by the Bill Clinton foundation in celebration of Mandela day on July 17, 2012. (© Siphiwe Sibeko)
Nelson Mandela met with a group of American and South African students, aged from 11 to 19, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 2, 2009.