Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa and a legendary figure of the African National Congress, or ANC. From 1964 to 1990, Mandela was imprisoned for opposing South Africa's white minority government and its policy of racial separation, known as apartheid. Instead of disappearing from view, Mandela became a prison-bound martyr and worldwide symbol of resistance to racism. In 1993 Mandela and the president who released him, F.W. de Klerk, shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Mandela was elected the country's president in 1994. He served until 1999, when he was succeeded by his deputy Thabo Mbeki. Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, was published in 1994..
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