Nelson Mandela, the South African leader who led the struggle against segregation and apartheid, has died today (Dec. 5) at age 95, South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, said today, according to news reports.
As South Africa's first black president, Mandela negotiated a peaceful transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, along with previous president F. W. de Klerk. The two worked together to end the racist system of apartheid. Before his presidency, Mandela served 27 years in prison on Robben Island after being convicted of treason for his role in bombings and violent protests aimed against apartheid.
"Our nation has lost its greatest son," South African president Jacob Zuma said on South African national TV, the BBC reported. Mandela had been receiving medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in the hospital.