Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela "was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.
"After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela's campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.
"During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela's reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
"Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation's National Chairperson." 
- Honorary Chair, Africare
- Former Founding Chair, Thebe Investment Corporation 
- Patron, Mandela Rhodes Foundation 
- Patron, CODA International 
- Patron, Round Square 
- International Council (President since 1995), United World College 
- Winner of the 1988 Sakharov Prize 
- Winner of the 2000 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute: Four Freedoms Award
- Advisory Board, Project on Justice in Times of Transition
- Patron, Peace Parks Foundation
- Honorary President, World Federation of United Nations Associations 
- Honorary Patron, Global Leadership Foundation 
- Patron, Open Africa 
- 2006 winner of the Centre of Peace and Multiethnic Cooperation peace award
- Patron, Desmond Tutu Peace Trust (S.A.) 
- Founding Patron (now retired), Mineseeker Foundation 
- Honoree of the 2007 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 
- John Pilger, "Apartheid Did Not Die", ITV (UK), 2001. (Fanonite notes that "Once the indefatigable leader of the struggle against Apartheid, he has been reduced to a PR prop for war criminals.")
- Allister Sparks, "Letter from South Africa, “THE SECRET REVOLUTION,” The New Yorker, April 11, 1994, p. 56.
- Richard Cummings, "A Diamond Is Forever: Mandela Triumphs, Buthelezi and de Klerk Survive, and ANC on the U.S. Payroll", International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Summer 1995.
Resources and articles
- Global Rights
- Nadine B. Hack
- Gail M. Gerhart
- Friends of Nelson Mandela for the Defense of Human Rights (Les Amis De Nelson Mandela) (DRC)
- Joel Joffe - legal representative during the infamous Rivonia Trial, 1963-4.
- Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize, accessed August 24, 2007.
- Graca Machel, ACCORD, accessed September 5, 2007.
- Thebe Investment Corporation History, organizational web page, accessed January 12, 2013.
- Trustees, Mandela Rhodes Foundation, accessed May 31, 2010.
- Patrons, CODA International, accessed December 11, 2011.
- Round Square Patrons, Board & Secretariat, organizational web page, accessed March 30, 2012.
- AN ESSAY ON KURT HAHN FOUNDER OF OUTWARD BOUND (1941), KURT HAHN, accessed February 18, 2010.
- Xanana Gusmão, Sakharov Prize, accessed August 24, 2007.
- President, Honorary Presidents and Vice-Presidents, World Federation of United Nations Associations, accessed December 23, 2008.
- Honorary Patrons, Global Leadership Foundation, accessed January 11, 2010.
- About, Open Africa, accessed June 16, 2010.
- Contact, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, accessed January 7, 2011.
- Mineseeker Foundation Patrons, organizational web page, accessed May 10, 2012.
- David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award Honorees, Synergos Institute, accessed December 4, 2011.