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Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
Dead at 95
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918, and died on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. He was 95.
Nelson Mandela was a politician and anti-apartheid activist and served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999. Mandela was the first black South African to hold office.
He was a master of forgiveness.
South Africa’s first black president spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid, yet he sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world.
As head of state, the former boxer, lawyer and inmate lunched with the prosecutor who argued successfully for his incarceration. He sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of the prime minister in power at the time he was sent to prison.
It was this generosity of spirit that made Mandela a global symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation in a world often jarred by conflict and division.