Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Current Events, People and Culture, World, World History

Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday.

Mandela was one of the most significant political and social leaders of the late 20th century. As a political activist, Mandela led social protests in South Africa against that nation’s apartheid policy of racial segregation. For his actions, Mandela was jailed by the South African government. He spent 27 years in prison and was finally released when South Africa began a political transformation to remove the segregation policies of its past.

Once free Mandela, ran for the presidency of a new South African government and was elected to the office in 1994. He remained president until 1999. Throughout his time as president, Mandela maintained a steadfast commitment to cooperation between the South African racial groups and helped begin the healing of generations of hatred.

Mandela won and shared a Nobel Peace Prize with the former South African president F.W. de Klerk for the work they did in leading South Africa away from its apartheid past.

Yesterday, President Obama added his voice to the many Mandela tributes around the world, speaking about what Nelson Mandela meant to him.

Related Links

There are many media resources today about the life and work of Nelson Mandela.

What Do You Think? What political and social leaders can you think of that had as large an impact on the world as Mr. Mandela? Make a list of these men and women. Discuss the personal characteristics that made them significant.