Nelson Mandela

1918-2013

South African Political Leader

Nelson Mandela was a successful lawyer in Johannesburg until he joined the African National Congress in 1952. A decade later, the ANC was banned and Mandela, an outspoken opponent of apartheid, went underground.

He was caught in 1962. At his trial in 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. Worldwide protests were centered on freeing him.

In 1990, South African Prime Minister F.W. de Klerk freed Mandela, who went on to negotiate the end of apartheid.

He won the Nobel Prize for peace in 1992. In May of 1994 he became the first black President of South Africa.