Fittest loser

Images: Nelson Mandela Through The Years

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Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005 where he met with the winner and runner-up of the local " Idols" competition.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, and his wife Graca Machel, left, attend Riverside Church in New York, on May 14, 2005.

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Nelson Mandela is shown in this July 16, 1996 file photo. Mandela was one of three people appointed an Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia, the country's top honor.

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In this photo provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, US First Lady Michelle Obama, left, with former South African President Nelson Mandela, at this home, in Houghton, South Africa.

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In this July 9, 2002 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi , right, stands with former South African President Nelson Mandela at the launch of the African Union (AU) in Durban, South Africa.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela, center, is seen smiling during his tour of Freedom Park in Pretoria, South Africa Thursday July 2nd, 2009.

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Former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela smiles during a forum at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, in this Sept. 3, 2000, file photo.

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This video image taken from SABC television shows Nelson Mandela, left, receiving a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary from ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, right, in Mandela's home village Qunu May 30, 2012.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela stands before an AIDS quilt during a World AIDS Day function in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 1, 2002.

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Veteran anti-apartheid ex-member of Parliament, Helen Suzman, right, holds hands with recently released ANC leader Nelson Mandela, when Suzman visited Mandela at his Soweto home, Feb. 26, 1990.

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On the day that SA Pres FW de Klerk announced the release of Nelson Mandela, right wing extremists called for his death at a rally in Church Square, Pretoria, Feb. 9, 1990.

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The two Nobel Peace Prize winners, ANC President Nelson Mandela (l) and South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk, shake hands during their meeting in Oslo, Thursday, December 09, 1993.

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, center, and his wife Kaur, left, pose for photographers with former South African president Nelson Mandela after their meeting at the Mandela foundation in Johannesburg Monday Oct. 2, 2006.

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Crowds cheer as a police van brings prisoners to the Drill Hall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 31, 1956, for the start of the 'Treason Trial'. Nelson Mandela was among the people arrested and standing trial.

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American Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, speaks to journalist as former South African president Nelson Mandela, left, looks on after their meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005.

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, 94, and his wife Graca Machel at his home in Qunu, South Africa, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012.

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Nelson Mandela, left, and his wife Winnie, right, at Cape Town's airport prior to a flight to Johannesburg in this February 1990 photo, the day after his release from prison.

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In this Oct. 6, 2007 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reacts as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, waves farewell after a meeting at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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President George Bush greets South African leader Nelson Mandela on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, June 26, 1990, Washington, DC.

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South African leader of the ANC Nelson Mandela raises his fist after addressing a crowd of about 15,000 people from the balcony of the city theater Saturday, June 16, 1990 in Amsterdam.

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A view of the cell were former South African president Nelson Mandela was locked up by the former apartheid government on Robben Island, South Africa, Friday, July 17, 2009.

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South African President Nelson Mandela, left, and American pop singer Michael Jackson arrive at a news conference in Cape Town Tuesday, March 23, 1999.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, left, during the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture Tuesday, July 19, 2005.

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New York City Mayor David Dinkins, left, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, center, joins hands with African National Congress President Nelson Mandela Friday, Sept. 24, 1993 in New York, following a press conference at the United Nations.

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Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela give back power salutes as they enter Soweto's Soccer City stadium, South Africa Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1990. 120,000 thousand people packed the venue to hear his speech.

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In this Wednesday August 21, 1996, file photo Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, left, meets with President Nelson Mandela, right, in Cape Town South Africa.

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Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress, acknowledges applause as he stands before a Joint Meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday, June 26, 1990.

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South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela with his wife Winnie at his side, raises his fist as he acknowledges the cheers of thousands at a rock concert Monday, April 16, 1990 at London's Wembley Stadium.

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Former South Africa's President Nelson Mandela waves, after his arrival for the 6th Annual Mandela Lecture in Soweto, South Africa, Saturday, July 12, 2008.

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South African President Nelson Mandela, foreground, and U.S. President Bill Clinton peer out from Section B, prison cell No. 5, on Robben Island, South Africa March 27, 1998. Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year prison term on the island.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles during his meeting with a group of Mandela Rhodes Scholars for 2006, in Johannesburg, South Africa Jan. 31, 2006.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, greets Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, August 3, 2000.

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African women join in a demonstration in South Africa, Aug. 16, 1962, demanding the release of Nelson Mandela. The women, together with Winnie Mandela chanted "down with Verwoerd on the steps of the Johannesburg City Hall.

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Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and African leader Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the "Day of the Revolution" in Matanzas Saturday, July 27, 1991. Cubans celebrate 38th anniversary of the revolution.

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Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie, walking hand in hand, raise clenched fists upon his release from Victor prison, Cape Town, Feb. 11, 1990.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and former South African President Nelson Mandela shake hands at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct. 6, 2007.

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A child kisses Nelson Mandela, July 31, 2009 during the launch of a children's hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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South African Deputy President F.W. de Klerk, right, and South African President Nelson Mandela pose with their Nobel Peace Prize Gold Medal and Diploma, in Oslo, Dec. 10, 1993.

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Nelson Mandela, second from left, and his wife Winnie, are escorted by Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, left, after their arrival at Norman Manley International Airport, July 24, 1991, Kingston, Jamaica.

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President Bush, right, meets with Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, left, in the Oval Office of the White House May 17, 2005, in Washington.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, reacts with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, during the launch of a Walter and Albertina Sisulu exhibition, called, 'Parenting a Nation,' at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 12, 2008.

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British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, former South African President Nelson Mandela, center, and former US President Bill Clinton pause during a gala night to mark the centenary of the Rhodes Trust and the establishment of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, at Westminster Hall, London, July 2, 2003.

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Gallery updated: 6/12/2013 2:25 AM

About this Gallery

Images of the South African icon Nelson Mandela though the years. Mandela began his rise in South Africa as a controversial protester against the racial segregation Apartheid policy of the Nationalist government. Found guilty of conspiracy and sabotage, he was imprisoned for 27 years before his release in 1990 and then was voted president in 1994 in the country's first general election.
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