Former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela has died, The Associated Press has confirmed. In June CNN reported that he had been placed on life support. Yesterday, it was reported that Mandela’s friends and family had gathered at his home in South Africa. Mandela was 95.
Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa. Mandela served as the first black president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, where he was best known for his contributions to the fight against apartheid and the restructuring of South Africa after. His election as president came from South Africa’s first multiracial election—held April 27, 1994—which is now recognized annually as Freedom Day in South Africa.
Mandela studied law in the early 1940s at the University of South Africa, an education which he would use as the basis of his early protests and programs—including the African National Congress’ Youth League, which he would help found in 1944. Due to charges including sabotage, Mandela later served 27 years in prison beginning in 1964.
Mandela leaves behind his wife, Graca, three children, Zindzi, Zenani (from his marriage to Winnie Mandela) and Makaziwe (from his marriage to Evelyn Mandela). His children Makgatho, Makaziwe and Thembekile preceded him in death.
Take a listen to Mandela’s 1990 appearance at the Oakland Coliseum here. The appearance, made shortly after his release from prison, saw Mandela addressing the U.S., stating “we shall not turn back.” You can also watch his 1990 appearance in San Francisco in the player below.