17 Unforgettable Moments From Nelson Mandela's Life

Nelson Mandela, who died this week at the age of 95, was one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

In a century that saw both institutionalized racism at its worst and unprecedented progress through the civil rights movement, the man who led South Africa out of apartheid was a central figure.

Below are some of his most memorable moments:

Nelson and Winnie MandelaAPNelson Mandela, and his wife, Winnie, walk out of the Victor Verster prison near Cape Town upon his release in 1990. Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years for revolutionary activities.
Mandela and PLO leaderHoward Burditt/ReutersTwo weeks later, Mandela is embraced by Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat as he arrives at Lusaka airport.
Nelson mandela mlkDavid Longstreath/APMandela is the first recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Freedom Award in 1990. He is handed the award by King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.
Mandella in NYC New YorkReutersMandela is all smiles as he is greeted by tens of thousands of people in Harlem, New York’s famous black district, during the second day of his U.S. tour. Mandela told reporters ‘I am feeling on top of the world’ in late June of 1990.
Nelson mandelaJuda Ngwenya/ReutersSupporters of the African National Congress toast with Mandela after he is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Nelson Mandella rallyReutersMandela salutes his supporters, April 16, during his 1994 election campaign.
Mandella inaugeration behind bullet proof glassReutersOne month later Mandela swears in as South Africa’s President from behind thick bulletproof glass.
South African President Nelson Mandela (L) raises his arms in jubilation as Springbok captain Francois Pienaar holds aloft the Webb Ellis cup after South Africa's victory over New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final played at Ellis Park June 24.ReutersSouth African President Nelson Mandela celebrates when South Africa wins the Rugby World Cup in June 1995.
Mandela and pope john paul 2Patrick de Noirmont/ReutersMandela guides Pope John Paul II after they met at Johannesburg International Airport in 1995. This is the pope’s first official visit to the country.
Nelson mandelaSasa Kralj/APIn this 1996 photo, the Dalai Lama, walks hand-in-hand with Mandela.
Princess diana nelson mandelaSasa Kralj/APMandela ushers Princess Diana during her visit in Cape Town. Princess Diana met Mandela to discuss the threat of AIDS in South Africa in 1997.
Clinton looking out Mandela's cellReutersThis photo from 1998 shows former President Bill Clinton sitting in the jail cell where Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years.
Mandela votes for next presidentReutersMandela casts his ballot at a polling station in Johannesburg in 1999.
Mandela canadaShaun Best/ReutersMandela dances to choir music beside Canadian Prime Minister Chretien during a ceremony to make Mandela an honorary Canadian citizen in 2001. Mandela is the second foreigner to receive the distinction.
Mandela birthdayDenis Farrell/APMandela laughs while celebrating his 89th birthday with children at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in 2007. For Mandela’s 91st birthday, his charity organisation opened the world’s fifth hospital devoted to children.
Nelson mandela and queenDominic Lipinski/APBritain’s Queen Elizabeth meets with Mandela at Buckingham Palace in 2008 a month before his 90th birthday.
Mandela 2013SABC TV/APSouth African President Zuma, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Mandela in April of 2013 one month after Mandela was released from the hospital. Zuma said he found Mandela ‘in good shape and in good spirits.’

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