“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”

-Nelson Mandela

On this day in 1964, Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary leader, and later President, was sentenced to life in prison for his opposition to the discrimination faced by the black community. He spent 27 years in prison and was released in 1990 amongst growing international and domestic pressure.

Upon his release, he again began to campaign for an end to the apartheid, and in the 1994 general elections, was elected as South Africa’s first black head of state in a fully representative democratic election. Mandela was revered around the world for his endorsement of peace and justice, and is regarded as a symbol of human rights. Despite being a controversial figure for much of his life, he received around 250 awards for his advocacy of social justice, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He passed away on 5 December 2013, amidst universal acclaim and recognition for his monumental contributions to peace.