The Life of Nelson Mandela
Sentenced to life
On June 12, 1964, Mandela and seven other defendants were convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life in prison. During the trial, Mandela had prepared for the possibility of the death sentence and made this famous declaration: "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, credited with ending apartheid there, died Dec. 5, 2013. He was 95 years old. Read more about his life.