Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95 on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. After a year of health problems, the Nobel Prize winner was reportedly doing well and was released from the hospital earlier this year. The death of Nelson Mandela is a tragic loss not only to South Africa, but to the entire world. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison fighting for South Africa before he was released in 1990. "He probably will be remembered both inside and outside South Africa as a political saint," said Michael Parks, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for his coverage of Mandela, according to USAToday. "He had flaws that he had to overcome. He had a temper he had to deal with. He had to deal with what was going to be life imprisonment. Not all his decisions were great decisions, but what political leader's are." Here are three things to know about how Nelson Mandela changed the world:
1. Equal Rights: Nelson Mandela was a crucial player in the civil rights movement in South Africa, as the white minority rule left the black population in South Africa without basic freedoms and political rights. Mandela spent 27 long years in jail and was freed in 1990 at the age of 71 after a worldwide campaign pressured the regime in charge at the time to release him. "If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy," Mandela once said. "Then he becomes your partner."
2. Democracy In South Africa: Prior to Nelson Mandela's efforts, South Africa was not a democracy. Courtesy of his efforts, the nation is now one of the most progressive democracies in the world. This one step helped South Africa removed itself from many embargo lists from nations around the world, including the United States. Mandela then rightfully earned himself the title of being the South African president and in his 1994 inauguration speech, shared his wish for the nation to be "a rainbow nation."
3. Philanthropy: Nelson Mandela has given back to the world in many ways, but he was also known for being a philanthropist. His charitable work includes, but is not limited to, creating the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and 46664, an HIV-AIDS initiative named after his prison number. These charitable foundations not only help people of South Africa, but people around the world.