Nelson Mandela was a South African revolutionary who spent 27 years imprisoned by the government. He became a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle. Mandela was released from prison in 1990 after international pressure, and was elected president of South Africa in 1994. He served in that office until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away today, according to an announcement by current South African President Jacob Zuma.
"He is now resting. He is now at peace," Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."
"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human," the president said in his late-night address. "We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.
Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent months, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.
With advancing age and bouts of illness, Mandela retreated to a quiet life at his boyhood home in the nation's Eastern Cape Province, where he said he was most at peace. He was later moved to his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, where he died.
Nelson Mandela was 95.
(Image credit: South Africa The Good News)