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What is a short biography of Nelson Mandela?

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Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the small village of Mvezo in South Africa. After attending school in his native country, he spent time at the University of London before returning to South Africa and starting a law firm. Around this time, Mandela joined the African National Congress and became a founding member of the organization’s Youth League.

Mandela was arrested several times during his adult life, often for his political ties with the African National Congress and his work as a lawyer. In 1961, Mandela led a campaign to sabotage South Africa’s ruling apartheid government. He was subsequently arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment; however, he was released in 1990 after serving 27 years in prison.

After his release, Mandela resumed his anti-apartheid activism and entered into negotiations with then-President F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid and establish multiracial elections in South Africa. Mandela was successful, and the African National Congress rose to power, with Mandela serving as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Nelson Mandela died on Dec. 5, 2013, after a prolonged illness. He was 95.

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Related Questions

  • 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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    Was Nelson Mandela a Christian?

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    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 did Nelson Mandela accomplish?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela, arguably one of the great leaders of the 20th century, served as president of South Africa, was a notable writer, accomplished lawyer and a civil rights activist. Mandela was born in Mveso, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He spent his childhood in South Africa, then left to pursue an education in the United States before returning to his home country to assume the role of president in 1994.

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  • Q:

    What crime did Nelson Mandela commit?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was found guilty of committing sabotage against South Africa's apartheid government. He was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

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