NELSON MANDELA | A LIFE IN PICTURES

This collection of images highlights Nelson Mandela's lifetime pursuit to end apartheid in South Africa and make the world at large a more peaceful place. From his time imprisoned, to becoming South Africa's first black president, we trace some of the key moments in Mandela's life.

Nelson Mandela in 2009

Nelson Mandela

Rolihlahla Mandela was born 18 July 1918 as into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, now part of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. He was given the name "Nelson" by a primary school teacher in keeping with the custom to give all children a "Christian" name. Mandela's actions during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa jailed him for 27 years, but led him to become one of the most celebrated figures in history. (AP Photo/Pool-Theana Calitz-Bilt)

Bus carries Mandela to trial

Bus carries Mandela to trial

On 21 December 1956, Mandela and others were arrested for incitement and later sent to trial in Johannesburg, South Africa. Pictured here, one man shouts words of encouragement into the bus carrying the group to trial. (AP Images)

Supporters protest for Freedom

Supporters protest for Freedom

After escaping conviction, Mandela went underground for several years. He was re-arrested in 1962. He was originally sentencted to five years for incitement, but officials found detailed documents of his plans for guerilla warfare against the government which led to a sentence of life in prison. (AP Photo/Dennis Lee Royle)

Students scatter from tear gas

Protest For Freedom

Numerous rallies supporting anti-apartheid, like this one, were held over the course of his time in prison. Frequently, law enforcement used tear gas to break up these gatherings.
Most of these orders were a result of the National Party rule in South Africa from 1948-1994 that promoted apartheid. (AP Photo/John Parkin)

de Klerk holds news conference

Released From Prison

Former South African president F.W. de Klerk holds a news conference on 10 February 1990 announcing Mandela's release from prison.
Mandela and de Klerk underwent secret talks while Mandela was still in prison to face the unstable situation in South Africa. De Klerk knew the only possible solution was his release. This press conference marked the end of his 27-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Adil Bradlow)

Mandela celebrates release

A Free Man

Mandela and his second wife Winnie, walking hand in hand, raise clenched fists upon his first public appearance after release from Victor prison in Cape Town 11 February 1990. (AP Photo)

Mandela and Bush at White House

Mandela and Bush at White House

A meeting with former President H.W. Bush at the White House marks one in a series of gatherings with other heads of state to congratulate Mandela for his courage while in prison. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

International Freedom Award

International Freedom Award

Mandela becomes the first recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Freedom Award given by King's widow Coretta Scott King in June of 1990. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Mandela with Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize

Mandela and former president de Klerk receive the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for their collective work in ending apartheid in South Africa and promoting equality worldwide. (AP Photo/Jon Eeg, Ntb)

Casting a ballot

Historical Election

The 1994 South African elections maked the first time all racial groups were eligible to vote. Mandela voted for the first time in his life at age 75. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Celebrating his presidency

Start To A New Era

Mandela delivered an emotional victory speech celebrating not only becoming the first black president but also the beginning of an integrated system where all races are treated equal. (AP Photo/John Parkin)

Clinton and Mandela in prison cell

Two Presidents Reflect

President Clinton visits with Mandela in the cell he spent 18 of 27 years to look back on his life at the prison on Robben Island. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Mandela and Will Smith before campaign

46664 Campaign

Hollywood actor Will Smith and many other notable public figures have taken part in the 46664 Campaign to create HIV/AIDs awareness since the early 2000s. 46664 signifies Mandela's prison number through the duration of his sentence.
Following his presidency, Mandela remained active in the fight for human rights around the world leading to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The 46664 campaign is one of many sponsored by the foundation. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

Visiting with Queen Elizabeth

Birthday in London

Queen Elizabeth invited Mandela to Buckingham Palace as part of his 90th birthday celebration in June 2008. Prominent figures have visited with him regularly for special occasions following his presidency. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski)

Appearance at World Cup

2010 FIFA World Cup

Mandela and his wife Gra├ža Machel made an appearance for the closing ceremonies of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the first African nation to ever host the event. (Kyodo via AP Images)

Mandela's Statue in South Africa

Mandela Stands Forever

In December of 2012, doves were released to commemorate the unveiling of this statue of Mandela in South Africa. Statues to remember his legacy have been erected all over South Africa and have begun to surface all over the world. (AP Photo)