Nelson Mandela(1918-2013), President of South Africa; President of the African National Congress
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Sitter in 3 portraits
Former leader of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela 'Madiba' was South Africa's first black head of state and the first president to be elected democratically. From 1964-90, he was imprisoned for his involvement in the armed resistance to apartheid. During his incarceration, Mandela became an international symbol of freedom, social justice and racial equality. His period of presidency (1994-1999) saw the reconciliation of black and white South Africans, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (with F. W. de Klerk) in 1993. He was committed to combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation, founded in 1999.
More on Nelson Mandela: The Icons trail: discover the people who shaped the 20th Century
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.