Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on 18 July 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies for many years before being arrested in August 1962. Mandela was incarcerated for over 27 years, during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to the anti-apartheid movement grew steadily.
Released from prison in 1990, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestseller Long Walk to Freedom.
He died on 5 December 2013, aged 95, following a long illness.