Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner who went on to become South Africa's first black president, died Thursday. He was 95.
Mandela received around the clock intensive care from military and other doctors since September, when he was discharged from a nearly three-month hospital stay for a lung infection.
Born with the name Rolihlahla, meaning troublemaker, Mandela became interested in politics during his university studies in Johannesburg. In 1943, as a law student, he would join the group that would change his life: the African National Congress.
Although Mandela's anti-apartheid involvement began as nonviolent, he later founded in 1961 a violent organization, known as Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), that deployed bombs and landmines against government and infrastructure targets. A year later, he would be arrested, tried and sentenced initially to five years in jail, and then in 1964 to life behind bars.
This overhead view provides a glimpse of Robben Island, where Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison.
Mandela and his wife, Winnie, attend a rally after his release from prison. With his once-banned political party able to participate in elections, Mandela began the process of negotiating the end of apartheid with South African leadership.
Mandela, head of the African National Congress in this photo, appears with South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk in 1994, the year that South Africa saw its first universal elections.
On April 27, 1994, Mandela is elected as South Africa's first black president, with his party receiving 62 percent of the vote. In this photo, he casts his ballot.
Mandela returned to the cell where he spent much of his 27 years behind bars. In his presidency, Mandela saw national reconciliation in the post-apartheid era as his top priority.
Some of Mandela's domestic policies during his presidency, intended to correct the injustices of apartheid, would stoke the old racial divisions. But Mandela also found ways of uniting the country, as when South Africa won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. After the presidency, he would continue to represent South Africa internationally and become a champion of human rights.