The Life of Nelson Mandela

Historical photos from Mandela’s postprison years and meeting with U.S. leaders.

July 18, 2014, 10:29 a.m.

After spend­ing al­most three dec­ades as a polit­ic­al pris­on­er in his own coun­try, Nel­son Man­dela emerged from his cell and quickly be­came one of the most revered world lead­ers. Ju­ly 18, Man­del’s birth­day, has been named In­ter­na­tion­al Nel­son Man­dela Day in his hon­or. Man­dela died last year after a long battle with a res­pir­at­ory in­fec­tion, at the age of 95.