In 1961 a 42-year-old Nelson Mandela was leader of the armed wing of the ANC.
Nelson Mandela (above left) was the Apartheid government's most prominent opponent.
(Radu Sigheti/Reuters) Reuters
Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela give back power salutes as they enter Soweto's Soccer City stadium on February 13, 1990, after being released from jail after 27 years.
(Udo Weitz/AP) Keystone
Jean Ziegler of the Swiss anti-Apartheid movement meets Mandela on June 10, 1990.
South African Deputy President F.W. de Klerk, right, and president Mandela pose with their Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on December 10, 1993.
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Mandela and US President Clinton peer out from Mandela's former prison cell on Robben Island.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Keystone
Former president Mandela supported by his wife Graca Machel, drops sand onto his son Makgatho Lewanika Mandela's coffin on January 15, 2005. Makgatho Mandela died of AIDS related complications.
(EPA/Shayne Robinson) Keystone
A girl poses beneath a Mandela statue in Johannesburg.
(AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo) Keystone
Mandela helped raise funds so this school in Quno could build new classrooms and move out of the dilapidated mud structure.
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) Keystone
Italian artist Dario Gambarin made a gigantic portrait of Mandela which he ploughed in a field to mark the end of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
(AP Photo/Dario Gambarin) Keystone
Mandela speaks in London's Trafalgar square during the 'Make Poverty History' rally in 2005.
(AP Photo/Adam Butler) Keystone
More than 40 000 people attended a 46664 HIV/AIDS awareness concert at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town in 2003. The number 46664 was Mandela's prison number.
(EPA/Wayne Conradie) Keystone
Mandela laughs with journalists and performers participating in the second 46664 concert near the small Southern Cape province town of George.
(Reuters/Mike Hutchings) Reuters
This image shows a gold coin bearing the name and image of Mandela.
(AP Photo/Investgold) Keystone
A tribute to Nelson Mandela, the man who led his country to black majority rule.
This content was published on December 5, 2013 - 23:30
After 27 years in prison, Mandela emerged as a national hero. Acclaimed by many at home and abroad for his efforts to end apartheid, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize with Frederik de Klerk in 1993. He became president in 1994, retiring from office in 1999.