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 the 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. Since retiring, his primary commitment was the fight against AIDS, and social injustices which led to the formation of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, created in 1999.