The Life of Nelson Mandela
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Mandela was released from prison at the age of 71 on Feb. 11, 1990. By the time he was freed, then-President Frederik Willem de Klerk was beginning to dismantle the apartheid system. "Today the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future," Mandela said in a speech upon his release. "Our march to freedom is irreversible."
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.