Former South Africa leader Nelson Mandela

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died at age 95 of complications from a recurring lung infection.

The anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was a beloved figure around the world, a symbol of reconciliation from a country with a brutal history of racism.

Mandela was released from prison in 1990 after nearly 30 years for plotting to overthrow South Africa's apartheid government. In 1994, in a historic election, he became the nation's first black leader. Mandela stepped down in 1999 after a single term and retired from political and public life. (Yahoo News)

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Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), adopts a boxing pose, wearing shorts, t-shirt and boxing gloves, circa 1950. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), adopts a boxing pose, wearing shorts, t-shirt and boxing gloves, circa 1950. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Nelson Mandela, circa 1960. (Photo by Sowetan/Avusa Media Ltd/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, circa 1960. (Photo by Sowetan/Avusa Media Ltd/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
<p>In the Rivonia Trial Mr Mandela chose, instead of testifying, to make a speech from the dock and proceeded to hold the court spellbound for more than four hours. His speech, which was made at the beginning of the defence case, ended with the words:</p><p><i>&ldquo;During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. 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.&rdquo;</i></p>
Last page of Nelson Mandela's speech from the dock

In the Rivonia Trial Mr Mandela chose, instead of testifying, to make a speech from the dock and proceeded to hold the court spellbound for more than four hours. His speech, which was made at the beginning of the defence case, ended with the words:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. 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.”

A rare photograph of Nelson Mandela working as a prisoner on Robben Island in 1977. (Photo courtesy <a href="https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.nelsonmandela.org%2f%26quot%3b&t=1527311404&sig=Fjv.9rxkuaN1.5AQ3QAqGg--~D rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory</a>)
Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, 1977
A rare photograph of Nelson Mandela working as a prisoner on Robben Island in 1977. (Photo courtesy Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)
A rare photograph of Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island in 1977. (Photo courtesy <a href="https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.nelsonmandela.org%2f%26quot%3b&t=1527311404&sig=Fjv.9rxkuaN1.5AQ3QAqGg--~D rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory</a>)
Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island, 1977
A rare photograph of Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island in 1977. (Photo courtesy Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)
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24 JUN 1995:&nbsp; NELSON MANDELA THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT WAVES TO HIS CROWD AS HIS COUNTRY WINS THE WORLD CUP.&nbsp; SOUTH AFRICA V NEW ZEALAND IN THE RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL AT ELLIS PARK, JOHANNESBURG.&nbsp; Mandatory Credit: David Rogers/ALLSPORT
Nelson Mandela: Vida y obra
24 JUN 1995:  NELSON MANDELA THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT WAVES TO HIS CROWD AS HIS COUNTRY WINS THE WORLD CUP.  SOUTH AFRICA V NEW ZEALAND IN THE RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL AT ELLIS PARK, JOHANNESBURG.  Mandatory Credit: David Rogers/ALLSPORT
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FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2007 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reacts as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, waves farewell after a meeting at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Johannesburg, South Africa. Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized with a stomach ailment, according to a government statement issued Saturday Feb. 25, 2012 about the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2007 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reacts as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, waves farewell after a meeting at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Johannesburg, South Africa. Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized with a stomach ailment, according to a government statement issued Saturday Feb. 25, 2012 about the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2007 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reacts as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, waves farewell after a meeting at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Johannesburg, South Africa. Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized with a stomach ailment, according to a government statement issued Saturday Feb. 25, 2012 about the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)
FILE -- In this file photo taken July 11, 2010 former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, with his wife Graca Machel, right, attends the final of the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in Johannesburg, Mandela's last public appearance. Mandela, now old and frail, lives in seclusion in his Johannesburg home. Beyond the high walls of the house, the fighting over his image and what he stood for has already begun (AP Photo/Martin Meissner-File)
FILE -- In this file photo taken July 11, 2010 former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, with his wife Graca Machel, right, attends the final of the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in Johannesburg, Mandela's last public appearance. Mandela, now old and frail, lives in seclusion in his Johannesburg home. Beyond the high walls of the house, the fighting over his image and what he stood for has already begun (AP Photo/Martin Meissner-File)
FILE -- In this file photo taken July 11, 2010 former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, with his wife Graca Machel, right, attends the final of the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in Johannesburg, Mandela's last public appearance. Mandela, now old and frail, lives in seclusion in his Johannesburg home. Beyond the high walls of the house, the fighting over his image and what he stood for has already begun (AP Photo/Martin Meissner-File)
FILE - May 16, 2011 file photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Information Services, GCIS, showing former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mandela was admitted to a hospital on Saturday March 9 2013 for a scheduled medical check-up and doctors say there is no cause for "alarm," the president's office said. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said 94-year-old Mandela went in the afternoon for tests "to manage existing conditions in line with his age" at a hospital in Pretoria. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane-GCIS, File)
FILE - May 16, 2011 file photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Information Services, GCIS, showing former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mandela was admitted to a hospital on Saturday March 9 2013 for a scheduled medical check-up and doctors say there is no cause for "alarm," the president's office said. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said 94-year-old Mandela went in the afternoon for tests "to manage existing conditions in line with his age" at a hospital in Pretoria. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane-GCIS, File)
FILE - May 16, 2011 file photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Information Services, GCIS, showing former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mandela was admitted to a hospital on Saturday March 9 2013 for a scheduled medical check-up and doctors say there is no cause for "alarm," the president's office said. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said 94-year-old Mandela went in the afternoon for tests "to manage existing conditions in line with his age" at a hospital in Pretoria. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane-GCIS, File)
In this photo provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, US First Lady Michelle Obama, left, with former South African President Nelson Mandela, at this home, in Houghton, South Africa. First lady Michelle Obama and her family met with Nelson Mandela during a private visit at the former South African president's home. Mrs. Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson, were viewing some of Mandela's personal papers at his foundation Tuesday when according to White House officials, he sent word that he wanted to meet them. It was Mrs. Obama's first meeting with the prisoner-turned-president. (AP Photo/ Debbie Yazbek, Nelson Mandela Foundation)
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In this photo provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, US First Lady Michelle Obama, left, with former South African President Nelson Mandela, at this home, in Houghton, South Africa. First lady Michelle Obama and her family met with Nelson Mandela during a private visit at the former South African president's home. Mrs. Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson, were viewing some of Mandela's personal papers at his foundation Tuesday when according to White House officials, he sent word that he wanted to meet them. It was Mrs. Obama's first meeting with the prisoner-turned-president. (AP Photo/ Debbie Yazbek, Nelson Mandela Foundation)
FILE - In this Wednesday May 30, 2012 file photo South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, after receiving a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary from ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete in Mandela's home village of Qunu in rural eastern South Africa. The South African presidency says Nelson Mandela was re-admitted to hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection Thursday March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Lulamile Feni-Daily Dispatch) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
FILE - In this Wednesday May 30, 2012 file photo South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, after receiving a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary from ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete in Mandela's home village of Qunu in rural eastern South Africa. The South African presidency says Nelson Mandela was re-admitted to hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection Thursday March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Lulamile Feni-Daily Dispatch) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
FILE - In this Wednesday May 30, 2012 file photo South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, after receiving a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary from ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete in Mandela's home village of Qunu in rural eastern South Africa. The South African presidency says Nelson Mandela was re-admitted to hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection Thursday March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Lulamile Feni-Daily Dispatch) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
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In this Friday, May 24, 2013 image made from AP Video, former South African President Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela, speaks to the Associated Press, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nelson Mandela, in the twilight of life, doesn't talk much anymore, his eldest daughter says. But the former South African president, who wrote of his regret at being unable to devote himself to his family during the fight against apartheid and afterward, reaches out in another way. (AP Photo/AP Video)
In this Friday, May 24, 2013 image made from AP Video, former South African President Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela, speaks to the Associated Press, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nelson Mandela, in the twilight of life, doesn't talk much anymore, his eldest daughter says. But the former South African president, who wrote of his regret at being unable to devote himself to his family during the fight against apartheid and afterward, reaches out in another way. (AP Photo/AP Video)
In this Friday, May 24, 2013 image made from AP Video, former South African President Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela, speaks to the Associated Press, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nelson Mandela, in the twilight of life, doesn't talk much anymore, his eldest daughter says. But the former South African president, who wrote of his regret at being unable to devote himself to his family during the fight against apartheid and afterward, reaches out in another way. (AP Photo/AP Video)
In this image taken Friday June 14, 2013, A Mandela Foundation employee shows the archived passport of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela’s condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day Monday June 24, 2013, said South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, who described the stricken anti-apartheid hero as being “asleep” when he visited him the previous evening.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
In this image taken Friday June 14, 2013, A Mandela Foundation employee shows the archived passport of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela’s condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day Monday June 24, 2013, said South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, who described the stricken anti-apartheid hero as being “asleep” when he visited him the previous evening.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
In this image taken Friday June 14, 2013, A Mandela Foundation employee shows the archived passport of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela’s condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day Monday June 24, 2013, said South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, who described the stricken anti-apartheid hero as being “asleep” when he visited him the previous evening.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
A boy kicks a ball behind a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Groot Drakenstein correctional facility near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, Sunday, June 9, 2013. Former South African President Nelson Mandela was receiving medical treatment for a lung infection on Sunday after spending a second night in a hospital. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
A boy kicks a ball behind a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Groot Drakenstein correctional facility near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, Sunday, June 9, 2013. Former South African President Nelson Mandela was receiving medical treatment for a lung infection on Sunday after spending a second night in a hospital. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
A boy kicks a ball behind a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Groot Drakenstein correctional facility near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, Sunday, June 9, 2013. Former South African President Nelson Mandela was receiving medical treatment for a lung infection on Sunday after spending a second night in a hospital. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa. Mandela was taken to a hospital Saturday to be treated for a recurrence of a lung infection and is in "serious but stable" condition, the president's office said. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam-file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa. Mandela was taken to a hospital Saturday to be treated for a recurrence of a lung infection and is in "serious but stable" condition, the president's office said. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam-file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa. Mandela was taken to a hospital Saturday to be treated for a recurrence of a lung infection and is in "serious but stable" condition, the president's office said. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam-file)

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