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Nelson Mandela Fast Facts

Posted on 09 February 2013 by "the witness"

By CNN Library
updated 7:59 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, according to the country's president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela was 95.

Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, according to the country's president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela was 95.

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The evolution of Nelson Mandela

(CNN) -- Here is a look at the life of Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of South Africa.

Birth date: July 18, 1918

Birth place: Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa.

Birth name: Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela

Father: Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, a counselor to the royal house of the Thembu tribe

Mother: Nosekeni Fanny Mandela

Marriages: Graca (Machel) Mandela (July 18, 1998-present); "Winnie" (Madikizela) Mandela (1958-1996, divorce); Evelyn (Ntoko) Mandela (1944-1958, divorce)

Children: with Winnie Mandela: Zindzi, 1960 and Zenani, 1959; with Evelyn Mandela: Makaziwe, 1953; Makgatho, 1950-January 6, 2005; Makaziwe, 1947-1948; Thembekile, 1946-1969

Education: University of South Africa, law degree, 1942

Other Facts:
He was given the name Nelson by a school teacher. He is also sometimes called Madiba, his traditional clan name.

Mandela has been called both "the world's most famous political prisoner" and "South Africa's Great Black Hope."

1941-1943 - Mandela meets Walter Sisulu who helps him get a job at the law firm of Witkin, Sidelsky, and Eidelman.

1944 - Joins the African National Congress and helps found the ANC Youth League.

1951 - Becomes president of the ANC Youth League.

1952 - Opens the first black law partnership in South Africa with friend Oliver Tambo.

1952 - Leads the newly launched [ANC] Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws, a program of nonviolent mass resistance.

July 1952 - Mandela is charged with violating the Suppression of Communism Act.

December 5, 1956 - Mandela is among 156 resistance leaders arrested and charged with high treason.

March 21, 1960 - In Sharpeville, police fire upon protestors challenging apartheid laws; 69 people are killed.

April 8, 1960 - The ANC is banned nine days after Mandela is arrested and the government imposes a state of emergency after the events in Sharpeville.

March 29, 1961 - Mandela and all co-defendants are found not guilty of treason.

June 1961 - Mandela begins organizing the armed struggle against apartheid Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nations). He travels in Africa and Europe studying guerrilla warfare.

August 5, 1962 - Is arrested on charges of inciting workers to strike and leaving the country without valid travel documents. Mandela represents himself at trial.

November 7, 1962 - Is sentenced to prison, five years hard labor.

June 12, 1964 - Is sentenced to life in prison for four counts of sabotage. Convicted and sentenced with Mandela are Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Denis Goldberg and others.

1980 - The Johannesburg Sunday Post leads a campaign to free Mandela. A petition demanding his and other ANC prisoners' release is printed in the newspaper.

1982- Is transferred to Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison after 18 years on Robben Island.

1988 - Is transferred to Victor Verster Prison.

July 5, 1989 - Meets with President P.W. Botha.

August 15, 1989 - Botha resigns as president and head of the National Party. F.W. de Klerk replaces him and begins dismantling apartheid.

December 13, 1989 - Mandela and de Klerk meet for the first time.

February 11, 1990 - Mandela is released from prison after more than 27 years.

1990 - Embarks on a world tour, visiting Margaret Thatcher, the U.S. Congress, and U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

July 1991 - Mandela is elected president of the ANC.

1993 - Mandela and de Klerk share the Nobel Peace Prize.

April 29, 1994 - Elected the first black president of the Republic of South Africa in the first open election in the country's history.

May 10, 1994 - Mandela is inaugurated.

June 1999 - Mandela leaves office.

1999 - Establishes the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

January 19, 2000 - Addresses the United Nations Security Council, appealing for help in ending the brutal civil war between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi.

July 25, 2001 - Announces that he has prostate cancer and is undergoing treatment.

January 31, 2003 - Mandela criticizes President George W. Bush's stance on Iraq, saying he has no foresight and can't think properly.

November 29, 2003 - Aids awareness event, the 46664 Concert (Mandela's prison number) at Green Point stadium in Cape Town. The event draws 30,000+ fans with performances by Beyonce, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Bob Geldof and many more; and speeches by Mandela and Geldof.

December 1, 2003 - Mandela participates in the signing of the Geneva Accords for peace in the Middle East.

January 7, 2005 - Announces that his son, Makgatho, has died of AIDS and that the disease should be given publicity so that people will stop viewing it as extraordinary.

March 21, 2005 - Hosts the "46664 concert" in George, South Africa, to promote AIDS awareness.

August 29, 2007 - A bronze statue of Mandela is unveiled in Parliament Square in London.

June 27, 2008 - A London concert is held at Hyde Park in honor of Mandela's 90th birthday (on July 18) with all proceeds going to an AIDS charity. It is estimated that about 40,000 tickets were sold.

July 18, 2009 - The Nelson Mandela Foundation creates Mandela Day to be held every year on his birthday. The purpose of the day is to bring awareness to community service.

November 11, 2009 - The United Nations declares July 18th Nelson Mandela International Day.

December 11, 2009 - The movie Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman as Mandela opens in South Africa, Canada and the United States.

February 11, 2010 - On the 20th anniversary of Mandela's release from prison tributes, commemorations and marches in his honor take place.

June 11, 2010 - Mandela makes his first World Cup appearance before kickoff of the final match.

January 26-28, 2011 - Is hospitalized in Johannesburg and treated for an acute respiratory infection.

June 21, 2011 - Meets with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama at his home in South Africa.

February 25-26, 2012 - Treated for an abdominal hernia.

March 2012 - The Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project is launched. Google gives a $1.25 million grant to help preserve and digitize thousands of archival documents including items donated by Mandela himself.

December 8, 2012 - Is admitted to the hospital, suffering a lung infection.

December 15, 2012 - Undergoes successful endoscopic surgery to have gall stones removed.

January 6, 2013 - A spokesman says Mandela has successfully recovered from surgery and a lung infection and is slowly getting back to his normal routine.

March 27, 2013 - Is admitted to the hospital due to the recurrence of a lung infection.

April 6, 2013 - Mandela is discharged from the hospital.

April 29, 2013 - The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) releases video of Mandela as he sits at home surrounded by South Africa President Zuma and other government officials. SABC and the African National Congress, which has been critical of media in the past, are accused of political exploitation.

June 8, 2013 - Mandela is admitted to hospital with a recurring lung infection. The former president is listed in serious but stable condition and is breathing on his own.

June 23, 2013 - Officials say Mandela's condition has worsened in the past 24 hours, and he is now in critical condition.

August 31, 2013 - Is discharged from the hospital to continue his recovery at home. According to President Jacob Zuma he is still listed in "critical but stable condition but responding to treatment."

December 5, 2013 - Nelson Mandela dies at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. South African President Jacob Zuma orders all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff through the state funeral.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:40 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced.
updated 6:02 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
South African president Jacob Zuma announces the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
updated 6:00 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
A file photo showing South African Nelson Mandela taking the presidential oath on May 10, 1994 during his inauguration at the Union Building in Pretoria.
April 27, 1994, was the crowning moment in the life of Nelson Mandela -- the day South Africa held its first elections open to citizens of every race.
From a village birth to the subject of a massive digital archive
updated 6:40 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
"No one is born hating another person..." and more from Nelson Mandela in his own words
updated 8:03 AM EDT, Tue April 30, 2013
Errol Barnett visits Nelson Mandela's home town to find out how his upbringing helped shape the future of a nation.
How will you remember Mandela? Send us your stories, memories and photographs
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Mon June 24, 2013
While the world called him Mandela, the man considered to be the founder of South Africa's democracy was known by a number of other names.
updated 9:48 PM EDT, Wed June 26, 2013
Browse through intimate images of Nelson Mandela, including the earliest known photograph believed to be taken in 1938.
updated 5:29 AM EST, Wed November 27, 2013
"Structural unemployment and racial economic inequality continues to plague South Africa," says Colin Coleman.
One South African photographer spent years covering the rise of violence in his home country before the eventual death of the systemic racial discrimination policy of apartheid.
updated 5:56 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
A young boy's life turned around when he read Nelson Mandela's books and speeches.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue November 5, 2013
It was decades in the making but the long-awaited film based on Nelson Mandela's autobiography was finally released.
updated 10:52 AM EDT, Thu July 18, 2013
People honored the 95th birthday of Mandela by undertaking 67 minutes of community work.
The world may know him as Mandela, but he is known by a number of others names in his own country.
updated 5:24 AM EDT, Fri July 12, 2013
A July 11, 1963, raid led to 20 activists being arrested. They used their trial as a political tool.
updated 8:30 PM EDT, Tue July 2, 2013
A working class neighborhood came a long way in 20 years. And people feel they owe it to Mandela.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Thu June 27, 2013
The boy who grew up herding cattle in the hills of the Transkei area dedicated his adult life to opposing the policy of apartheid.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Wed June 26, 2013
Messages outside a Pretoria hospital described the fear and resignation felt by many when Mandela was ill.
updated 3:50 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
Mandela was incarcerated at maximum-security Robben Island Prison. Look through photos of where the former leader spent 18 years.
updated 2:43 PM EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
Nadia Bilchik: Mandela's profound lack of bitterness after 27 years of prison informed his life.
updated 12:45 PM EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
mandela waving smile
To mark Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday on July 18, 2012, we asked what the former South African president meant to you.
updated 5:46 PM EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
CNN's Robyn Curnow talks to former President Bill Clinton about his memories and friendship with Nelson Mandela.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Thu July 18, 2013
Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday was marked by an exhibition of stunning new posters of South Africa's former president.


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