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Who was Nelson Mandela, and what did he do?

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Quick Answer

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.

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Who was Nelson Mandela, and what did he do?
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Full Answer

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a short biography of Nelson Mandela?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela began his career as a lawyer before becoming an anti-apartheid revolutionary and serving as president of South Africa. For his social justice, human rights and anti-apartheid work, Mandela was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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  • Q:

    Was Nelson Mandela a Christian?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, was a Methodist Christian. He was raised and schooled in the religion but kept his religious beliefs private throughout his historic struggle and subsequent victory over the forces of apartheid in South Africa.

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  • Q:

    What was Nelson Mandela fighting for?

    A:

    As a native African living in South Africa under apartheid, the government system of imposed segregation in which non-native white residents of South Africa were treated as fundamentally superior to black natives, Nelson Mandela's initial cause was focused on bringing about the end of apartheid and systematic racial oppression in his home country. Apartheid came to an end in the 1990s, and in 1994, Mandela was elected as the first black chief executive of South Africa in the nation's first full, democratic election. When Mandela's presidential term ended in 1999, his focus shifted from issues within his own nation to general human rights issues across the globe.

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  • Q:

    Why was Nelson Mandela in prison for 27 years?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years as a result of his efforts to bring racial harmony and equality to South Africa. He began his efforts as soon as he graduated from law school and founded the first black law firm in the country in 1952. As unrest spread in the 1950s and 1960s, Mandela found himself the target of law enforcement efforts, and after he secretly left South Africa to gain aid and training for the struggle, he was picked up and jailed until Feb. 11, 1990.

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