His first wife, nurse Evelyn Mase, bore him four children. A daughter died in infancy, a son was killed in a car crash in 1970 and another son died of AIDS in 2005. The couple divorced in 1957 and Evelyn died in 2004. Mandela began his rise through the anti-apartheid movement in 1944, when he helped form the ANC Youth League.
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Nelson Mandela dead at 95
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Americans began to learn about the injustices there and Mandela’s imprisonment. Mandela was convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government and sentenced to life. In 1964, the African National Congress called for the United States and Britain to apply sanctions against South Africa after Mandela’s then-wife, Winnie, was charged with assaulting the police.Though largely inaccessible during his 27-year incarceration in various South African prisons, Mandela himself became an icon. “He became the face of the movement,” Lee said. “Through his personality, his ability to garner support and his ability to articulate the needs and wishes of the South African people, he endeared himself.” By the 1980s, Mandela’s imprisonment was global news. Millions around the world, including those in the United States, signed petitions, marched and demonstrated to “Free Mandela.” The “Free Nelson Mandela” sculpture, created by David Hammons as tribute to the former South African president and activist Nelson Mandela