PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Fighting for Justice
After South Africa's government introduced apartheid, or racial segregation, in 1948, Nelson Mandela led a fight against it that would last more than four decades. He would later become the country's first black president. Take a look at Mandela's life over the years.
Life as a Lawyer
Mandela studied law in Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, and opened the first black law firm in the country. This photo shows him in the office of his firm Mandela and Tambo.
Freedom at Last
In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for organizing anti-government activities. He spent 27 years in prison until South African president F.W. de Klerk released him in 1990. Here, Mandela celebrates his freedom with his wife Winnie.
Nobel Prize Winner
De Klerk and Mandela worked together to end many policies that were passed during the years of apartheid. This 1993 photo shows them as they pose with their Nobel Peace Prizes.
First Black Leader
In 1994, nonwhites were allowed to vote in democratic elections for the first time in South Africa's history. They helped elect Mandela president, making him the country's first black president. This photo shows Mandela as he celebrates his victory.
Retiring from Presidency
Mandela stepped down as president in 1999 but continued to spread his message of peace around the world. Here, he poses for a photograph with First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia, left, and Sasha, right.