Nelson Mandela passed away today, December 5th, 2013. He will be remembered as one of the great humanitarian figures the world has ever seen. He was 95. PHOTO: South Africa, The Good News, CC License
Mandela fought against apartheid and spent 27 years in prison. After being released from prison, he was South Africa's President from 1994-1999. The Mandela family gathered around Nelson Mandela in the days leading up to his passing. Mandela had battled various health issues through the summer, and had been confined to his bed for weeks at a time.
Nelson Mandela was a truly unique figure, with a stature only equaled by names like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. He was the first black President of South Africa, and as president, he sought to undo the legacy of apartheid. Like many legendary leaders, Mandela employed non-violent tactics (though he did use militant means at points in his fight against apartheid). Despite his long fight against institutionalized racial segregation, Mandela taught peace and forgiveness.
“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” South Africa President Jacob Zuma said in a televised address. “His humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him our love.”
Nelson Mandela voting for himself in the 1994 Presidential election in South Africa. PHOTO: Paul Weinberg, CC License
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