Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (/mænˈdɛlə/;; 18 July 1918...

A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and the University...

Mandela served 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An...

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Denounced as a communist terrorist by critics, he nevertheless gained...

Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then a part of South Africa's Cape...

"No one in my family had ever attended school On the first day of school my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name. This was the custom among...

Later stating that his early life was dominated by "custom, ritual and taboo", Mandela grew up with two sisters in his mother's kraal in the...

His mother took Mandela to the "Great Place" palace at Mqhekezweni, where he was entrusted under the guardianship of Thembu...

Intending to gain skills needed to become a privy councillor for the Thembu royal house, Mandela began his secondary education at Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo, a Western-style institution that was...

With Jongintaba's backing, Mandela began work on a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree at the University of Fort Hare, an elite black institution in Alice, Eastern...

Returning to Mqhekezweni in December 1940, Mandela found that Jongintaba had arranged marriages for him and Justice;...

Earning a small wage, Mandela rented a room in the house of the Xhoma family in the Alexandra township;...

Beginning law studies at the University of Witwatersrand, Mandela was the only native African student, and though facing racism, he befriended liberal and communist...

At Sisulu's house, Mandela met Evelyn Mase, an ANC activist from Engcobo, Transkei, who was training at the time to become a nurse. Married on 5...

In July 1947, Mandela rushed Lembede, who was ill, to hospital, where he died; he was succeeded as ANCYL president by the more moderate Peter Mda, who agreed to...

In the South African general election, 1948, in which only whites were permitted to vote, the Afrikaner-dominated Herenigde Nasionale Party under Daniel François Malan took power, soon uniting with...

Mandela took Xuma's place on the ANC National Executive in March 1950. That month, the Defend Free Speech Convention was held in Johannesburg, bringing together African, Indian and communist activists to call an anti-apartheid...

In 1952, the ANC began preparation for a joint Defiance Campaign against apartheid with Indian and communist groups, founding a National Voluntary Board to recruit volunteers....

On 30 July 1952, Mandela was arrested under the Suppression of Communism Act and stood trial as a part of the 21 accused – among them Moroka, Sisulu and...

Mandela obtained work as an attorney for the firm Terblanche and Briggish, before moving to the liberal-run Helman and...

"We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:...

Mandela came to the opinion that the ANC "had no alternative to armed and violent resistance" after taking part in the unsuccessful protest to prevent...

Following the end of a second ban in September 1955, Mandela went on a working holiday to Transkei to discuss the implications of the Bantu Authorities Act, 1951 with local tribal leaders, also visiting his mother and...

On 5 December 1956, Mandela was arrested alongside most of the ANC Executive for "high treason" against the state. Held in Johannesburg Prison amid mass protests, they...

In April 1959, militant Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front approach founded the Pan-African Congress (PAC); Mandela's friend Robert Sobukwe was elected president, though Mandela thought the group "immature"....

Disguised as a chauffeur, Mandela travelled the country incognito, organising the ANC's new cell structure and a mass stay-at-home strike for 29 May. Referred to as the "Black Pimpernel" in the press – a reference to Emma...

Inspired by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement in the Cuban Revolution, in 1961 Mandela co-founded...

Operating through a cell structure, MK agreed to acts of sabotage to exert maximum pressure on the government with minimum casualties, bombing military...

The ANC agreed to send Mandela as a delegate to the February 1962 Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Traveling there in secret, Mandela met with Emperor...

On 5 August 1962, police captured Mandela along with Cecil Williams near Howick. A large number of groups have been accused of having tipped off the police about Mandela's...

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal...

On 11 July 1963, police raided Liliesleaf Farm, arresting those they found there and uncovering paperwork documenting MK's...

With the exception of James Kantor, who was innocent of all charges, Mandela and the accused admitted sabotage but denied that they had ever agreed to initiate guerilla war against the government. They used the...

Mandela and his co-accused were transferred from Pretoria to the prison on Robben Island, remaining there for the next 18 years. Isolated from...

The political prisoners took part in work and hunger strikes – the latter considered largely ineffective by Mandela – to improve prison conditions, viewing this as a microcosm of the anti-apartheid struggle....

From 1967, prison conditions improved; black prisoners were given trousers rather than shorts, games were permitted, and the standard of their food was raised. Mandela later commented on how football "made us feel...

By 1975, Mandela had become a Class A prisoner, That year, he began his...

By the late 1960s, Mandela's fame had been eclipsed by Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). Seeing the ANC as ineffectual,...

In April 1982 Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, Cape Town along with senior ANC leaders...

Violence across the country escalated, with many fearing civil war. Under pressure from an international lobby, multinational banks stopped investing in South Africa, resulting in economic...

In 1985 Mandela underwent surgery on an enlarged prostate gland, before being given new solitary quarters on the ground floor. He was met by "seven eminent persons", an international delegation...

Mandela's 70th birthday in July 1988 attracted international attention, notably with the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute...

Recovering from tuberculosis exacerbated by the dank conditions in his cell, in December 1988 Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. Here, he was housed in the relative comfort of a...

Leaving Victor Verster on 11 February, Mandela held Winnie's hand in front of amassed crowds and press; the event was...

Mandela proceeded on an African tour, meeting supporters and politicians in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Libya and Algeria, continuing to Sweden where he was reunited with Tambo,...

In May 1990, Mandela led a multiracial ANC delegation into preliminary negotiations with a government delegation of 11...

Mandela was given an office in the newly purchased ANC headquarters at Shell House, central Johannesburg, and moved with Winnie to her large Soweto home. Their marriage was increasingly strained as he learned of her affair with...

The Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) began in December 1991 at the Johannesburg World Trade Center, attended by 228 delegates from 19 political parties....

Following the Bisho massacre, in which 28 ANC supporters and one soldier were shot dead by the Ciskei Defence Force during a protest march, Mandela realised that mass action was leading to further...

The democratic process was threatened by the Concerned South Africans Group (COSAG), an alliance of far-right Afrikaner parties and black...

With the election set for 27 April 1994, the ANC began campaigning, opening 100 election offices and hiring advisor Stanley Greenberg. Greenberg orchestrated the foundation of People's...

Concerned that COSAG would undermine the election, particularly in the wake of the Battle of Bop and Shell House Massacre – incidents of violence involving the AWB and Inkatha, respectively – Mandela met with...

The newly elected National Assembly's first act was to formally elect Mandela as South Africa's first black chief executive. His inauguration took place in Pretoria on 10 May 1994, televised to a billion...

Aged 76, he faced various ailments, and although exhibiting continued energy, he felt isolated and lonely. He often entertained celebrities, such as Michael Jackson,...

In December 1994, Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, was published. In late 1994 he attended the 49th conference of the ANC in Bloemfontein, at which a...

Presiding over the transition from apartheid minority rule to a multicultural democracy, Mandela saw national reconciliation as the primary task of his presidency. Having seen other post-colonial...

Mandela personally met with senior figures of the apartheid regime, including Hendrik Verwoerd's widow Betsie Schoombie and the lawyer Percy Yutar; emphasising...

Mandela oversaw the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate crimes committed under apartheid by both the government and the ANC, appointing...

Mandela's administration inherited a country with a huge disparity in wealth and services between white and black...

Under Mandela's presidency, welfare spending increased by 13% in 1996/97, 13% in 1997/98, and 7% in 1998/99. The government introduced parity in grants...

The Land Restitution Act of 1994 enabled people who had lost their property as a result of the Natives Land...

Critics like Edwin Cameron accused Mandela's government of doing little to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country; by 1999, 10% of South Africa's population were HIV...

Following the South African example, Mandela encouraged other nations to resolve conflicts through diplomacy and reconciliation. He echoed Mbeki's calls for an "African...

In September 1998, Mandela was appointed Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement, who held their annual conference in Durban. He used the event to criticise the "narrow, chauvinistic interests" of the Israeli...

Mandela faced similar criticism from the West for his personal friendships with Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi. Castro visited in 1998, to widespread popular acclaim, and Mandela met Gaddafi in Libya to award him the Order...

The new Constitution of South Africa was agreed upon by parliament in May 1996, enshrining a series of institutions to check political and administrative authority within a...

Mandela stepped down as ANC President at the December 1997 conference, and although hoping that Ramaphosa would replace him, the ANC elected Mbeki to the position; Mandela admitted that by then, Mbeki had...

Mandela's relationship with Machel had intensified; in February 1998 he publicly stated that "I'm in love with a remarkable lady", and under pressure from his friend Desmond Tutu, who urged him to set an...

Retiring in June 1999, Mandela sought a quiet family life, to be divided between Johannesburg and Qunu. He set about authoring a sequel to his first autobiography, to be titled The Presidential Years, but it was abandoned...

In 2002, Mandela inaugurated the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, and in 2003 the Mandela Rhodes Foundation was created at Rhodes House, University of Oxford, to provide postgraduate scholarships to African...

Publicly, Mandela became more vocal in criticising Western powers. He strongly opposed the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo and called it an attempt by the...

In June 2004, aged 85 and amid failing health, Mandela announced that he was "retiring from retirement" and retreating from public life, remarking "Don't call me, I will call...

He retained some involvement in international affairs. In 2005, he founded the Nelson Mandela Legacy...

Mandela's 90th birthday was marked across the country on 18 July 2008, with the main celebrations held at Qunu, and...

In 2004, Mandela had successfully campaigned for South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, declaring that there would be "few better gifts for us in the year" marking a decade since the fall of...

In February 2011, he was briefly hospitalised with a respiratory infection, attracting international attention, before being re-hospitalised for a lung infection and...

On 22 June 2013, CBS News stated that he had not opened his eyes in days and was unresponsive, and the family was discussing how much medical...

On 4 July, it was reported that David Smith, a lawyer acting on behalf of Mandela family members, claimed in court on 26 June that Mandela was in a permanent vegetative state and life support should...

On 1 September 2013, Mandela was discharged from hospital, although his condition remained...

After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95. He died...

On 6 December 2013, President Zuma announced a national mourning period of ten days, with the main event held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 10 December 2013. He declared Sunday 8...

Mandela's $4.1 million estate was left to his widow, other family members, staff, and educational...

Mandela was an African nationalist, an ideological position he held since joining the ANC, thereby being "openly opposed to capitalism, private land-ownership and the power of big...

In the 1955 Freedom Charter, which Mandela had helped create, it called for the nationalisation of banks, gold mines, and...

Mandela was a private person who often concealed his emotions and confided in very few people. Privately, he lived an austere life, refusing to drink alcohol or...

Mandela was married three times, fathered six children, had 17 grandchildren, He could be stern and demanding of his children, although he...

Mandela's second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, also came from the Transkei area, although they, too, met in Johannesburg, where she was the city's first black social worker. They...

By the time of his death, Mandela had come to be widely considered "the father of the nation" within...

Throughout his life, Mandela had also faced criticism. Margaret Thatcher attracted international attention for describing the ANC as "a typical terrorist organisation" in 1987; although she...

On 16 December 2013, Reconciliation Day, a 9-metre-high, bronze statue of Mandela was unveiled at the...

In 1993, he received the joint Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk. In November 2009, the United Nations...

Awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom he was also the first living person...

Many artists have dedicated songs to Mandela. One of the most popular was from The Special AKA who recorded the song "Free Nelson Mandela" in 1983, which Elvis Costello also recorded and...

Mandela has been depicted in cinema and television on multiple occasions. He was portrayed by Danny Glover in the 1987 HBO telefilm Mandela. and Dennis...


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