The iconic anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95 due to a lung infection.

Along with other members of the African National Congress (ANC) Mandela was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He was finally released in 1990, following the end of apartheid, and went on to be elected president of South Africa. 

The Huffington Post:

During his presidency, from 1994 until June 1999, Mandela used the nation’s enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between whites and blacks, encouraging black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team. […]

In addition to his continued fight for the civil rights of his people — including the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a court-like restorative justice arm of Mandela’s democratically elected government and a new constitution, which he signed into law in 1996, establishing a central government based on majority rule that would guarantee the rights of minorities — Mandela worked to protect South Africa’s economy throughout his presidency. In 1994, he established the Reconstruction and Development Plan through which the South African government funded the creation of jobs, housing and basic healthcare.

Mandela’s first press conference after leaving prison:

Some of Mandela’s thoughts on leadership and life:

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more to climb.”

“There is no passion to be found in playing small — settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

On leaving prison: “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

This was just tweeted from the BBC:

*Header photo from The Daily Beast

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.