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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 Walter Dhladhla/AFP via Getty Images

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In 1961, Mandela founded the African National Congress's armed wing, transforming a movement that had drawn inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful resistance in India to one that used bombs. On his release from prison in 1990, he persuaded the ANC to renounce violence in favor of talks. Denounced by former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a “terrorist” in the 1980s, Mandela became a statesman who visited Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and counted former U.S. President Bill Clinton as a personal friend.

Left, Queen Elizabeth II and Mandela walk from his office to Parliament, in Cape Town, on March 20, 1995.