Nelson Mandela

Anti-apartheid Activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Alessia Pierdomenico /

Profession: Anti-apartheid Activist and South African President

South Africa
South African

Biography: Often referred to as the father of the nation by South Africans, Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and politician who served 27 years in prison.

After being freed in 1990 he became the President of the African National Congress (1991-97) before being elected the first black President of his country in a fully multiracial election in 1994.

For his activism, he received over 250 honors, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Order of Lenin.

Born: July 18, 1918
Birthplace: Mvezo, Umtatu, South Africa

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: December 5, 2013 (aged 95)
Cause of Death: Lung infection

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1958-06-14 Nelson Mandela weds Winnie Madikizela
  • 1992-04-13 Nelson Mandela announces he will seek divorce from Winnie Madikizela
  • 1996-03-19 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela divorces Nelson Mandela after 38 years of marriage
  • 1998-07-18 Nelson Mandela marries 3rd wife Graça Machel on his 80th birthday

Historical Events

  • 1952-06-26 Nelson Mandela & 51 others infringe South Africa curfew
  • 1956-12-06 Nelson Mandela & 156 others arrested for political activities in South Africa
  • 1961-03-29 After a 4½ year trial Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason in Pretoria
  • 1962-08-04 Nelson Mandela captured by South African police
  • 1962-08-05 Nelson Mandela arrested for incitement and for illegally leaving South Africa
  • 1963-10-20 South Africa begins trial of Nelson Mandela & 8 others on conspiracy charges
  • 1964-06-12 Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison in South Africa
  • 1964-07-17 ANC leader Nelson Mandela, recently sentenced to life imprisonment, is awarded the Joliot Curie Gold Medal for Peace
  • 1980-06-13 UN Security Council calls for South Africa to free Nelson Mandela
  • 1984-05-12 South African prisoner Nelson Mandela sees his wife Winnie Mandela for the 1st time in 22 years
  • 1985-01-31 South African President P. W. Botha offers to free Nelson Mandela if he denounces violence
  • 1988-06-11 Freedom Fest: Anti-apartheid benefit & Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert addresses his continued imprisonment; performers include Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, Hugh Masekela & Miriam Makeba, Youssou N'Dour, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, Joan Armatrading; Jessye Norman, and The Eurythmics at Wembley Stadium, London; broadcast to 67 countries with estimated audience of 600 million
  • 1988-08-12 Nelson Mandela is treated for tuberculosis at hospital
  • 1988-12-06 Nelson Mandela is transferred to Victor Vester Prison, Capetown
  • 1989-05-17 Nelson Mandela receives a BA from University of South Africa
  • 1989-07-05 South African President P. W. Botha visits ANC leader Nelson Mandela
  • 1990-02-02 South African President F. W. de Klerk promises to free Nelson Mandela & legalizes ANC & 60 other political organisations
  • 1990-02-10 South African President F. W. de Klerk announces Nelson Mandela will be freed on February 11th
  • 1990-02-11 Nelson Mandela released after 27 years imprisonment in South Africa
  • 1990-06-05 South African troops plunder Nelson Mandela's home
  • 1990-06-20 Nelson Mandela lands in NYC to begin a tour of US
  • 1990-06-22 Nelson Mandela addresses the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid in New York, saying that nothing has occurred in South Africa to reverse the ANC's position
  • 1990-06-23 African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, on a US tour, receives a tumultuous welcome in Boston
  • 1990-06-25 African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela meets with President George H. W. Bush at the White House
  • 1990-08-16 South African President F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela hold emergency talks in Pretoria about increasing violence in Soweto
  • 1990-12-13 South African President F. W. de Klerk meets with Nelson Mandela to talk of end of apartheid
  • 1991-01-29 Nelson Mandela and Mangosuthu Buthelezi meet after 28 years
  • 1991-06-26 ANC leader Nelson Mandela addresses congress
  • 1991-09-05 Nelson Mandela chosen as president of African National Congress
  • 1992-06-30 South African ANC President Nelson Mandela meets with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at Dakar
  • 1992-07-27 Nelson Mandela says a general strike will go ahead to protest for the removal of South African President F. W. de Klerk from power and for free elections
  • 1993-10-15 Nelson Mandela and South African President F. W. de Klerk awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • 1994-03-07 ANC chief Nelson Mandela rejects demand by white right-wingers for separate homeland in South Africa
  • 1994-05-06 Nelson Mandela and the ANC, finally confirmed winners in South Africa's first post apartheid election
  • 1994-05-10 Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa's 1st black president
  • 1994-08-15 South African President Nelson Mandela receives Anne Frank Penning
  • 1994-10-01 South African President Nelson Mandela visits US
  • 1996-07-07 Nelson Mandela steps down as President of South Africa
  • 1998-07-12 South African President Nelson Mandela accompanies Queen Elizabeth II on a coach drive through the streets of London
  • 1998-08-11 Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian National Authority president, Yasser Arafat, arrives in Cape Town on his first state visit to South Africa at the invitation of President Nelson Mandela
  • 2003-11-29 The first of Nelson Mandela's 46664 AIDS benefit concerts held at Green Point Stadium, Capetown
  • 2004-07-17 Former South African President Nelson Mandela calls for commitment by the world to take action against AIDS
  • 2018-07-17 Barack Obama gives speech honoring Nelson Mandela and warning of "strongman politics" in Johannesburg, South Africa

Quotes by Nelson Mandela

  • "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Education

Famous South African Presidents