Nelson Mandela was 44 years old when he first went to jail in 1962. Mandela was imprisoned for 28 years until his release on Feb. 11, 1990.
Born in South Africa on July 18, 1918, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944. He was involved in resistance against the National Party's apartheid policies and faced trial for treason although he was acquitted in 1961.
Although the African National Congress was banned in 1960, Mandela continued to argue for the formation of a military wing. He was arrested in 1962 and received a sentence of five years in prison with hard labor. He faced a trial in 1963 for plotting to overthrow the government and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964.
Upon his release in 1990, Mandela continued working toward his goals. He was elected President of the ANC in 1991. He passed away Dec. 5, 2013.