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From Prisoner to President: The World-Changing Work of Nelson Mandela

By Felix Kessler. Images Edited By Bloomberg Photos. - 2013-12-05T23:27:21Z

Photograph by Theana Calitz-Bilt/Pool via AP Photo

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Nelson Mandela, the freedom fighter who emerged from 27 years in prison to become South Africa’s first elected black president and a global icon of reconciliation, died on Dec. 5.  He was 95.

Released from prison in 1990, Mandela negotiated a peaceful end to the racist apartheid regime with leaders of South Africa’s white minority government. Three years later, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk, the last president of South Africa elected in a whites-only election.

Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 for treatment of a recurring lung infection, the fourth time he was hospitalized since December.

Left, Mandela at a meeting with a group of American and South African students at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on June 2, 2009.

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