According to the news around the world on Dec. 5, Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, died at age 95. The iconi leader died of a lung infection, the same disease his father died of when Mandela was nine years old.
Mandela was the first black president of South Africa serving from 1994 to 1999. When Mandella voted for the first time when he was 76, his own name was on the ballot.
Mandela was given a life sentence, but he was imprisoned for 27 years in three different prisons. He spent the most time in Robben Island Prison from 1964-1982. From 1982 to 1988, he was in Pollsmoor Prison. During that time in 1985, he was offered to be released if he would pledge to give up his views and position against apartheid. Mandela did not accept the offer. Finally, from 1988 to his release in 1990, he was in Victor Verster Prison.
During those 27 years, Mandella was allowed only one visitor and could either write or receive only one letter every six months. Therefore, he wrote a draft of every letter so he could maximize what he was writing.
While in prison, Mandella received his law degree through correspondence. He had been suspended from college earlier because of his involvement in a boycott.
Mandella was married three times and had six children. From 1944 to 1957, he was married to Evelyn Ntoko Mase. They had two sons and two daughters together. One daughter died when she was nine months old. To honor her, the second daughter was given the same name when she was born later. From 1958 to 1968, Mandella married Winnie Madikizela, and they had two daughters. Winnie divorced Mandella while he was in prison. On Mandella's 80th birthday, he married his third wife, Graca Machel in 1998. They had no children.
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