Who Was Nelson Mandela, and What Did He Do?

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Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. In South Africa, he is often called “Madiba,” which was the name of the clan he was born into.

He became president of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in 1951 when he was involved in anti-apartheid activism. In 1964, Mandela was charged with sabotage and sentenced to life in prison.

Upon his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela began his ascent to great national and international acclaim. He became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.