Nelson Mandela, the activist who spent many years in prison before becoming the first black South African president, died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95. He is credited with helping to end apartheid in South Africa.
Born on July 18, 1918, Nelson Mandela was given the birth name Rolihlahla. He was the first person in his family to attain a formal education, and it was at school that his teachers renamed him Nelson. As an adult, he joined the anti-apartheid movement and wound up in prison accused of treason for his efforts. Finally released in 1990, he remained passionate about justice and equality for his people. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his work at ending apartheid and became president of South Africa in 1994. He retired from the political scene in 1999.