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In Pictures: Mandela's life
The South African leader rose from rural obscurity to become one of the world's most respected and loved figures.
Last updated: 06 Dec 2013 04:43
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Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo, a descendant of the king of the Thembu people. Growing up as a shepherd boy, he said he inherited his father's "stubborn sense of fairness", drifting into political activism in the 1940s after earning his university degree.

He was arrested in 1956 for "high treason" against the state for his anti-apartheid activities with the African National Congress, but was later released. He went on to help found the armed wing of the political group, inspired in guerilla warfare by the writings of Che Guevara.

In 1961, the armed wing carried out 57 bombings. He was re-arrested the following year and was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment.

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people," he said while on trial in 1963. "I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination."

He was released on February 11, 1990, after lengthy negotiations with South Africa's leaders. He went on to tour the world, drumming up further international support for sanctions against the race-based apartheid regime. After a series of talks with then-president FW de Klerk, the pair agreed an interim constitution - which led to a multiracial general election. Mandela won with 62 percent of the vote.

As president, Mandela led a campaign of national reconciliation and massively increased welfare spending. After his retirement in 1999, Mandela continued his social activism and philanthropy, becoming one of the world's most respected and loved leaders.

He died at home on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95.

Mandela would receive a full state funeral, said President Jacob Zuma. South African authorities ordered flags across the nation to be flown at half mast.


//Getty Images

Nelson Mandela in 1937, around the time he began college. As a youth, he enjoyed gardening and boxing.



//Getty Images

With his first wife Evelyn, in 1944, left. They had four children before divorcing in 1958. The same year, Mandela married Winnie, right, they had two daughters. He would ultimately divorce her as well and remarry again in 1998.



/Gamma Rapho/ Getty Images

Mandela, third from left, was arrested more than once for advocating against apartheid. In 1962, he and several others were tried in the infamous Rivonia trial, which charged the accused with engaging in sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.



/AFP/ Getty Images

Convicted in 1964, Mandela and seven others were sentenced to life in prison. As they were taken away from the Palace of Justice, they raised their fists in defiance through the barred windows of the prison van.



/Alexander Joe/ AFP/ Getty Images

After 27 years in prison, Mandela was freed on February 11, 1990, an event that was broadcast around the world. Here he walks with Winnie and supporters in Paarl.



/Alexander Joe/ AFP/ Getty Images

In the months after his release, Mandela was greeted with joy almost everywhere he went. Here he is hugged by a girl in the the black township Soweto in October 1990.



/Gerard Julien/ AFP/ Getty Images

Mandela's release signaled an end to apartheid, but the rules governing the well entrenched system took several years to dismantle. In 1993 the Nobel committee honored Mandela and South African President F W de Klerk for bringing the racist hierarchy to a peaceful end.



/Trevor Sampson/ AFP/ Getty Images

"It always seems impossible until itís done", Mandela once said.




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captions:

Nelson Mandela in 1937, around the time he began college. As a youth, he enjoyed gardening and boxing.

;*;

With his first wife Evelyn, in 1944, left. They had four children before divorcing in 1958. The same year, Mandela married Winnie, right, they had two daughters. He would ultimately divorce her as well and remarry again in 1998.

;*;

Mandela, third from left, was arrested more than once for advocating against apartheid. In 1962, he and several others were tried in the infamous Rivonia trial, which charged the accused with engaging in sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

;*;

Convicted in 1964, Mandela and seven others were sentenced to life in prison. As they were taken away from the Palace of Justice, they raised their fists in defiance through the barred windows of the prison van.

;*;

After 27 years in prison, Mandela was freed on February 11, 1990, an event that was broadcast around the world. Here he walks with Winnie and supporters in Paarl.

;*;

In the months after his release, Mandela was greeted with joy almost everywhere he went. Here he is hugged by a girl in the the black township Soweto in October 1990.

;*;

Mandela(***)s release signaled an end to apartheid, but the rules governing the well entrenched system took several years to dismantle. In 1993 the Nobel committee honored Mandela and South African President F W de Klerk for bringing the racist hierarchy to a peaceful end.

;*;

"It always seems impossible until itís done", Mandela once said.

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Photographer:
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Image Source:
/Getty Images;*;/Getty Images;*;Gamma Rapho/ Getty Images;*;AFP/ Getty Images;*;Alexander Joe/ AFP/ Getty Images;*;Alexander Joe/ AFP/ Getty Images;*;Gerard Julien/ AFP/ Getty Images;*;Trevor Sampson/ AFP/ Getty Images
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
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