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Nelson Mandela: 1918 - 2013

Nelson Mandela, who emerged after 27 years in prison to steer troubled South Africa to its first multiracial democracy, uniting the country by reaching out to fearful whites and becoming a revered symbol of racial reconciliation around the world, died at his home in December 2013. He was 95.

Mandela and the man who released him, President Frederik W. de Klerk, shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. A year later, Mandela, the son of a tribal chief, succeeded De Klerk after a historic, peaceful election, the images of which were seared into the memory of a global audience: millions of blacks cast the first votes of their lifetimes.

After leaving the government, Mandela's worldwide stature continued to grow. He became active in the fight against AIDS; a son died of the disease in 2005. He also traveled widely in support of human rights and efforts to end poverty and spoke out vehemently against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In 2004, at age 85, Mandela announced his retirement from public life.

  • Mandela's death: Details of the icon's final hours

    Mandela's death: Details of the icon's final hours

    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- As Nelson Mandela neared death last week, doctors told his wife, Graca Machel, that this time he couldn’t be saved, South African media reported Sunday. His wife Graca Machel told members of the Mandela family that he was sinking fast. President Jacob Zuma was told...

  • Fulfilling the legacy of Nelson Mandela

    Fulfilling the legacy of Nelson Mandela

    Race and class are still intertwined in South Africa, and the work of translating political liberation into material freedom for the young is now the task at hand.

  • Mixed feelings about Mandela in South African mining town

    Mixed feelings about Mandela in South African mining town

    FOCHVILLE, South Africa -- In Fochville, a mainly Afrikaner mining town about 30 miles southwest of Johannesburg, not everyone wants to talk about the legacy of Nelson Mandela. “No thank you,” said one white man, his face hardening at the mention of the name before he turned and walked off. Another...

  • South African President Zuma humiliated at Nelson Mandela memorial

    South African President Zuma humiliated at Nelson Mandela memorial

    SOWETO, South Africa -- When South African President Jacob Zuma walked into the stadium for the memorial service of Nelson Mandela, he drew a cheer from the ruling African National Congress crowd. But then little by little, the booing started. In what should have been Zuma's finest hour, the people...

  • Laughter, 'selfie' reflect festive mood at Nelson Mandela memorial

    Laughter, 'selfie' reflect festive mood at Nelson Mandela memorial

    Three world leaders -- a white conservative, a black liberal and an unpretentious woman governing the happiest country on Earth -- mirthfully huddled together for a photo capturing a momentous event. Nelson Mandela would have been pleased. The cellphone camera snap heard 'round the world captured...

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