Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photos - Biography

Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photos

In honor of what would have been the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and former president's 99th birthday on July 18, we look at his legacy in a visual timeline.
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Mandela: The Young Leader

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: Nelson Mandela was the leader of the African National Congress in the 1960s before he was later sentenced to life in prison for sabotage. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Nelson Mandela was the leader of the African National Congress in the 1960s before he was later sentenced to life in prison for sabotage. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Mandela: The Prisoner

Nelson Mandela Prison Robben Island Photo

Of the 27 years of prison time Mandela was sentenced to, he spent 18 of them here in this cell at Robben Island. Reflecting on his time at Robben, he said in 1994: "Wounds that can't be seen are more painful than those that can be seen and cured by a doctor. One of the saddest moments of my life in prison was the death of my mother. The next shattering experience was the death of my eldest son in a car accident." He was not allowed to attend their funerals.

Mandela Gets His Freedom: February 11, 1990

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: After his release from prison, Mandela holds his baby granddaughter with his wife Winnie by his side in 1990. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

After his release from prison, Mandela holds his baby granddaughter with his wife Winnie by his side in 1990. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Mandela: Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela holds up his medal and certificate after he was jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with South African President F.W. de Klerk. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela holds up his medal and certificate after he was jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with South African President F.W. de Klerk. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Mandela: The World Leader

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: U.S. Vice President Al Gore (L) and Speaker of the House Tom Foley (R) join the audience as they cheer for South African President Nelson Mandela while he delivers remarks to a joint meeting of Congress in Washington DC, on October 6, 1994. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Al Gore (L) and Speaker of the House Tom Foley (R) join the audience as they cheer for South African President Nelson Mandela (who served from 1994-1999) while he delivers remarks to a joint meeting of Congress in Washington DC, on October 6, 1994. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Mandela: Dismantling Racism

Nelson Mandela Desmond Tutu Photo

In Pretoria, South Africa, Nelson Mandela receives several volumes of the final report made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a group designed to repair the damage done during the apartheid, from Archbishop Desmond Tutu on October 29, 1998. (Photo by WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mandela: The Philanthropist

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: Former South African President Nelson Mandela shakes hands with Microsoft CEO/Chairman Bill Gates during a discussion on global health at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle in 1999. Mandela thanked Gates for the millions of dollars Bill and Melinda Gates have donated to worldwide charities. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Former South African President Nelson Mandela shakes hands with Microsoft CEO/Chairman Bill Gates during a discussion on global health at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle in 1999. Mandela thanked Gates for the millions of dollars Bill and Melinda Gates have donated to worldwide charities. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Mandela: The Education Advocate

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey don matching construction hard hats to break the ground for her $10 million Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2002. She described Mandela as her 'hero' and he called her a 'queen.' (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey don matching construction hard hats to break the ground for her $10 million Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2002. She described Mandela as her 'hero' and he called her a 'queen.' (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Mandela: AIDS Advocate

Nelson Mandela Photo Gallery: Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, wave to the crowd after his address during the second 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in 2005. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Nelson Mandela and his third wife, Graca Machel, wave to the crowd after his address during the second 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in 2005. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Remembering Nelson Mandela

Remembering Nelson Mandela: On December 9, 2013, four days after Nelson Mandela's death, thousands of South Africans pay their respects to the beloved president and longtime activist with flowers, portraits and flags, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On December 9, 2013, four days after Nelson Mandela's death, thousands of South Africans pay their respects to the beloved president and longtime activist with flowers, portraits and flags, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)