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Nelson Mandela, the former South African president has died. Mandela was 95 years old.  Over the last several years, Mandela has suffered from serious health issues that involved prolonged hospitalizations.

Mandela most recently entered the hospital in June and was listed in serious but stable condition.  In April, Mandela spent 18 days in the hospital due to a lung infection.

Mandela spent 27 years in the infamous Robben Island prison. After being release, Mandela went on to share the Nobel Peace Prize with F. W. De Klerk.

In 1994, Mandela became South Africa’s first black president and was considered a hero of South African democracy.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy,” Mandela once said. “Then he becomes your partner.”

Mandela’s public appearances had become increasingly rare as he dealt with his declining health.

His last public appearance was in July of 2010, when he attended the final match and closing ceremonies of the soccer World Cup held in South Africa.

In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela wrote that when he walked out of prison, his mission was “to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both,” because both are robbed of their humanity when human freedom is restricted.

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter,” he wrote. “I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds there are many more hills to climb.”

Sunrise: July 18, 1918 Sunset: December 5, 2013. Rest in peace, Madiba.

 

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