An Extraordinary Life

  • South African National Congress (ANC) President Nelson Mandela gives a clenched fist to supporters on March 15, 1994 in Mmabatho, South Africa upon his arrival for his first election rally for the general elections.
  • ANC supporters give the thumbs up as a prison van with anti-apartheid militants travels to Johannesburg’s courthouse on Dec. 28, 1956. About 150 anti-apartheid militants, including Nelson Mandela, were on trial.
  • Nelson Mandela and his then-wife Winnie at their wedding in 1957.
  • After 27 years in detention, anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela returns to Soweto four days after his release from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl, South Africa on Feb. 14, 1990.
  • Nelson Mandela raises his fist after addressing a crowd of about 15,000 people from the balcony of the city theater on June 16, 1990 in Amsterdam. Mandela was on a one-day trip to the Netherlands.
  • Nelson Mandela at a pre-election rally in Durban days before the historic democratic election on April 27, 1994 in South Africa. Mandela became the first black democratic elected president in South Africa. He retired from office after one term in June 1999.
  • African National Congress (ANC) supporters listen Nelson Mandela during a mass rally in Mmabatho on March 15, 1994 prior to the general election. South Africans voted on April 27, 1994 in the country’s first democratic and multiracial general elections.
  • Nelson Mandela with President Bill Clinton in Section B, prison cell No. 5, on Robben Island, Mandela’s former prison, on March 27, 1998.
  • Nelson Mandela waves to crowds as he sits next to Queen Elizabeth II in an open carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace at the start of his four day State visit to Britain on July 9, 1996.
  • An undated photo of Nelson Mandela (R) and Pope John Paul II listening to national anthems after they met at Johannesburg International Airport on at the start of the pope’s first official visit to the country.
  • A group of well-wishers perform and pray for Nelson Mandela outside the Medi Clinic Heart Hospital where he was in critical condition on July 6, 2013.
  • A prayer group gathers outside the Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela was being treated on July 3, 2013.
  • Nelson Mandela reaches out to the crowd greeting him on Jan. 31, 1994 in Ikageng Stadium, South Africa.
  • Nelson Mandela salutes supporters on Sept. 5, 1990 in Tokoza, South Africa.



Nelson Mandela, the human rights icon and former South African president, died Thursday, Dec. 5. He was 95.  Here is a look back in photos of his remarkable life.

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