Nelson Mandela: An Indispensable Life in Pictures

  • Share
  • Read Later

Nelson Mandela, the revolutionary-turned-prisoner-turned-president who led South Africa out of apartheid and into an era of political and racial reconciliation, passed away on Dec. 5, 2013. He was 95. As both the father of his nation and its conscience, Mandela’s remarkable life changed history and its legacy resonates around the world.

More Photography from Time


Nelson Mandela has taught our color-blind children the real meaning of color-blindness. As the color-blind leaders of tomorrow, tribalism will be less of a distraction to the real issues of poverty, inequalities, healthcare and global warming.


Thanks for glimpses of an inspirational and pivotal figure for change and fairness.

@AstonFarquharson I agree with your assessment of the "real issues." Yet I wonder: do we have to be color-blind to have equality?

I would love to see us able to celebrate our different ancestry, cultures and heritage without judging or ranking them against one another. 

I see that first image of Mandela in traditional garb, and I want to know more. I'm wistful that his name was changed to Nelson, even though as a western white person I haven't the foggiest clue how to pronounce his birth-name. But I'd like to know.

I live in the 21st century, and I'm a citizen of the web where barriers are meant to be broken and people can and should be judged on what they post, say and do, not what they look like or where they came from.

Yet looks and family history remain a part of us. They don't define or limit us, but they add texture to our lives.