Nelson Mandela (1918 2013) was a South African political activist who spent over 20 years in prison for his opposition to the apartheid regime. He was released in 1990 and, in 1994, was later elected the first leader of a democratic South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with F.W. de Klerk) in 1993 for his work in helping to end racial segregation in South Africa. He is considered the father of a democratic South Africa and widely admired for his ability to bring together a nation, previously divided by apartheid. Nelson Mandela is one of the most admired political leaders of the Twentieth and Twenty First Century for his vision to forgive and forge a new rainbow nation.