Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

December 6, 2013

Dead at 95

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2005, file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela, 87, is in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, where he met with the winner and runner-up of the local "Idols" competition. South Africa's president says, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, that Mandela has died. He was 95. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File)

In this Dec. 7, 2005, file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela, 87, is in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, where he met with the winner and runner-up of the local “Idols” competition. South Africa’s president say on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, that Mandela has died. He was 95. (AP Photo / Denis Farrell)

 

On March 12, 2001, Nelson Mandela visited  Korea and met Kim Dae-jung, who was the President of Korea at the time. (Yonhap)

On March 12, 2001, Nelson Mandela visited Korea and met Kim Dae-jung, who was the President of Korea at the time. (Yonhap)

 

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.

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