Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.
Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist while those on the radical left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile with apartheid's supporters. Conversely, he gained international acclaim for his activism and received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Lenin Peace Prize.