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Today marks the 95th birthday of former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela.

Born in 1918 in Cape Province, South Africa, Mandela went on to found the first African-run law firm in South Africa, head the African National Congress, and become the first black South African to be elected president. He was recognized internationally as the leader of the fight against South Africa’s apartheid laws, and since leaving public office has championed human rights causes and worked to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. He is referred to by many South Africans as “tata,” or “father,” in his native language.

Mandela has been in poor health throughout the past month and is being treated at Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where crowds of well-wishers remain gathered outside around the clock. It has been reported that Mandela is responding well to treatment for a lung condition he originally contracted during his 27-year apartheid-era imprisonment.

Read more at Forbes

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