This a a photo album celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, the renowned international leader, civil rights icon, and former president of South Africa.

The earliest known photograph of Mandela, believed to be taken in 1938. The future president is fifth from the right in the back row.
The earliest known photograph of Nelson Mandela, believed to be taken in 1938. The future president is fifth from the right in the back row.
A portrait with his cousin Bikitsha, dating from around 1941, when Mandela would have been about 23.
A portrait with his cousin Bikitsha, dating from around 1941, when Mandela would have been about 23.
The last page of a letter smuggled from Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island in 1977, containing his signature and prisoner number, 46664.
The last page of a letter smuggled from Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island in 1977, containing his signature and prisoner number, 46664.
The handwritten first page of Mandela's unpublished sequel to his autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom."
The handwritten first page of Mandela’s unpublished sequel to his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.”
A photograph of Mandela working in a prison garden, taken in 1977, one of the 27 years he spent behind bars.
A photograph of Mandela working in a prison garden, taken in 1977, one of the 27 years he spent behind bars.
The earliest known record of Mandela -- a Methodist church membership card bearing the date December 1930.
The earliest known record of Mandela — a Methodist church membership card bearing the date December 1930.
The cover of one of Mandela's prison journals, containing correspondence with his family.
The cover of one of Mandela’s prison journals, containing correspondence with his family.
After the death of his father, nine-year-old Mandela was sent to live at the royal residence of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, acting regent of the Thembu people, in Mqhekezweni. Mandela learned about leadership here, observing the elders of the community discussing local affairs.
After the death of his father, nine-year-old Mandela was sent to live at the royal residence of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, acting regent of the Thembu people, in Mqhekezweni. Mandela learned about leadership here, observing the elders of the community discussing local affairs.
The son of a highly-placed chief, Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 at Mvezo, a tiny village in the district of Umtata. His original name, Rolihlahla, means "troublemaker," a fitting description for the difficult events that shaped Mandela's adult life. Mandela spent a large part of his early years in Qunu, a slightly bigger village north of Mvezo, where he was given his English name, Nelson, on his first day of school.
The son of a highly-placed chief, Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 at Mvezo, a tiny village in the district of Umtata. His original name, Rolihlahla, means “troublemaker,” a fitting description for the difficult events that shaped Mandela’s adult life. Mandela spent a large part of his early years in Qunu, a slightly bigger village north of Mvezo, where he was given his English name, Nelson, on his first day of school.
Mandela's natural leadership skills pushed him front and center during the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, which urged South African citizens not to cooperate with certain laws that were deemed discriminatory. Several years later he married his second wife, Winnie, in 1957.
Mandela’s natural leadership skills pushed him front and center during the ANC’s 1952 Defiance Campaign, which urged South African citizens not to cooperate with certain laws that were deemed discriminatory. Several years later he married his second wife, Winnie, in 1957.
Mandela's anti-apartheid activities made him a frequent target of South Africa's authorities. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964 and spent nearly 27 years incarcerated, jailed on charges of treason and sabotage -- but fundamentally for his anti-apartheid actions. Here, eight men, including Mandela, leave the Palace of Justice in Pretoria on June 1964 with their fists raised in defiance through the barred windows of the prison car.
Mandela’s anti-apartheid activities made him a frequent target of South Africa’s authorities. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964 and spent nearly 27 years incarcerated, jailed on charges of treason and sabotage — but fundamentally for his anti-apartheid actions. Here, eight men, including Mandela, leave the Palace of Justice in Pretoria on June 1964 with their fists raised in defiance through the barred windows of the prison car.
In the early 1950s, Mandela opened South Africa's first black law firm with political activist Oliver Tambo. Mandela called the firm a "first choice and last resort" for its clients, looking to challenge injustices of the apartheid system. The offices of the firm closed in 1960 after being burned down.
In the early 1950s, Mandela opened South Africa’s first black law firm with political activist Oliver Tambo. Mandela called the firm a “first choice and last resort” for its clients, looking to challenge injustices of the apartheid system. The offices of the firm closed in 1960 after being burned down.
In Johannesburg, Mandela worked in gold mines and studied law via a correspondence course. He also became more politically involved, joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944, and became a leader of the party's youth league.
In Johannesburg, Mandela worked in gold mines and studied law via a correspondence course. He also became more politically involved, joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944, and became a leader of the party’s youth league.
In his late teens, Mandela entered college to pursue a law degree. He was, however, expelled from the University College at Fort Hare for leading a student protest. After a few weeks at home, his guardian announced he was arranging marriages for both his son Justice and Mandela. The news took the young Mandela and his friend by surprise -- they both ran to Johannesburg to escape the arranged marriages. Pictured are the aged remains of the train station that was the runaway point for Mandela and Justice in 1941.
In his late teens, Mandela entered college to pursue a law degree. He was, however, expelled from the University College at Fort Hare for leading a student protest. After a few weeks at home, his guardian announced he was arranging marriages for both his son Justice and Mandela. The news took the young Mandela and his friend by surprise — they both ran to Johannesburg to escape the arranged marriages. Pictured are the aged remains of the train station that was the runaway point for Mandela and Justice in 1941.
Mandela's old cell in the notorious Robben Island prison, off Cape Town, where the anti-apartheid leader was incarcerated from 1964 to 1982.
Mandela’s old cell in the notorious Robben Island prison, off Cape Town, where the anti-apartheid leader was incarcerated from 1964 to 1982.
The South African government periodically made conditional offers of freedom to Mandela, all of which he refused. Here, Mandela can be seen inside his old cell during a visit to the Robben Island prison on 10 February 1995. "His answer was I want to be the last political prisoner in the country that is released," says George Bizos, who advised Mandela during the legal fight against apartheid. "They did not understand the integrity and humanity of people like Mandela."
The South African government periodically made conditional offers of freedom to Mandela, all of which he refused. Here, Mandela can be seen inside his old cell during a visit to the Robben Island prison on 10 February 1995.
“His answer was I want to be the last political prisoner in the country that is released,” says George Bizos, who advised Mandela during the legal fight against apartheid. “They did not understand the integrity and humanity of people like Mandela.”
Mandela delivers his first public speech since his release from prison in Cape Town on 11 February 1990. During the speech he said: "Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way. Universal suffrage on a common voters; roll in a united democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony." Mandela became president of the ANC in July 1991, leading his party in negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid and bring a nation together in the process.
Mandela delivers his first public speech since his release from prison in Cape Town on 11 February 1990. During the speech he said: “Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way. Universal suffrage on a common voters; roll in a united democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony.”
Mandela became president of the ANC in July 1991, leading his party in negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid and bring a nation together in the process.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela studies messages sent to her imprisoned husband on his 70th birthday in Johannesburg on 18 July 1988. Winnie, who has two daughters with Mandela, also became a worldwide anti-apartheid heroine when she adopted her jailed husband's fight for freedom as her own -- during Mandela's 27 years in prison, Winnie faced continual arrests and police harassment. Her anti-apartheid activist earned her the nickname the "Mother of Nation." She was, however, convicted of kidnapping in 1991 and fraud in 2004. Winnie and Mandela had separated in 1992 and were divorced four years later.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela studies messages sent to her imprisoned husband on his 70th birthday in Johannesburg on 18 July 1988. Winnie, who has two daughters with Mandela, also became a worldwide anti-apartheid heroine when she adopted her jailed husband’s fight for freedom as her own — during Mandela’s 27 years in prison, Winnie faced continual arrests and police harassment. Her anti-apartheid activist earned her the nickname the “Mother of Nation.” She was, however, convicted of kidnapping in 1991 and fraud in 2004. Winnie and Mandela had separated in 1992 and were divorced four years later.
Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 9 December 1993 in Oslo for their work to end apartheid peacefully.
Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 9 December 1993 in Oslo for their work to end apartheid peacefully.
In May 1994, Mandela was sworn in as president of South Africa following a landslide victory in the country's first all-race general elections. He did not seek a second term and was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki in 1999.
In May 1994, Mandela was sworn in as president of South Africa following a landslide victory in the country’s first all-race general elections. He did not seek a second term and was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki in 1999.
Since his retirement, Mandela has turned his attention to promoting peace, reconciliation and social justice. He established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999 and also took up a personal cause by giving his prison number, 46664 to a global HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaign -- Mandela's son, Makgatho Mandela, 54, died of an AIDS-related illness.
Since his retirement, Mandela has turned his attention to promoting peace, reconciliation and social justice. He established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999 and also took up a personal cause by giving his prison number, 46664 to a global HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaign — Mandela’s son, Makgatho Mandela, 54, died of an AIDS-related illness.
Mandela is joined by his wife Graca Machel-Mandela, whom he married in 1998, onstage during the 46664 concert in celebration of his life at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England.
Mandela is joined by his wife Graca Machel-Mandela, whom he married in 1998, onstage during the 46664 concert in celebration of his life at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England.
The current home of Mandela in Qunu where the celebrations for the 94th birthday of South Africa's founding father of democracy took place. In 2009, the United Nations officially declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. The U.N. asks individuals to honor his legacy by devoting 67 minutes of time to community service -- in recognition of Mandela's 67 years of public service.
The current home of Mandela in Qunu where the celebrations for the 94th birthday of South Africa’s founding father of democracy took place. In 2009, the United Nations officially declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. The U.N. asks individuals to honor his legacy by devoting 67 minutes of time to community service — in recognition of Mandela’s 67 years of public service.

1 COMMENT

Leave a Comment

To leave a comment anonymously, simple write your thoughts in the comments box below and click the ‘post comment’ button.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.