On the 100th anniversary of his birth, here are key dates in the life of the late anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president.

– July 18, 1918: He was born into the Thembu royal family in the rural Transkei.

– 1943: Joins the African National Congress (ANC), co-founding its Youth League the following year.

– 1952: Mandela led a campaign of defiance against the apartheid system, installed four years earlier. He and Oliver Tambo open the first black law firm in Johannesburg.

– 1958: Married his second wife, anti-apartheid figure Winnie Madikizela, whom he divorced in 1996.

– 1961: Mandela and other activists were acquitted on treason charges laid five years earlier. The ANC launched its armed wing with Mandela as commander in chief.

– 1962: He was captured and sentenced to prison for incitement and leaving the country illegally.

– 1964: Mandela and other senior anti-apartheid leaders were tried and sentenced to life for sabotage. He was sent to Robben Island prison off Cape Town.

– 1985: Refused pardon offered by president P. W. Botha on condition he renounce violence.

– 1990: After 27 years in jail, Mandela was released.

– 1991: He was elected ANC president.

– 1993: Mandela and the last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

– 1994: The ANC won the first all-race elections and Mandela was inaugurated as president.

– 1998: Married Graca Machel, widow of former Mozambican president Samora Machel.

– 1999: He stepped down after one term.

– December 5, 2013: After months of intensive medical care, Mandela died at the age of 95.

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