Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95, the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma has confirmed. The former President of South Africa had been battling a serious lung infection and family and friends had been called to Mandela's death bed earlier today in order to say their goodbyes. "Our nation has lost a great son, yet what made Mandela great was precisely what made him human," said President Zuma. "We saw in him what we seek in ourselves, and in him we saw so much of ourselves."

In 1962, Mandela was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for his role in organizing a militant group that was responsible for a bombing campaign in the early 1960s. Mandela was trained as a lawyer and got involved with politics after 1948 when South Africa was heading into a system of racial apartheid. Mandela's views were at first nonviolent, but as racial apartheid grew in South Africa so too was the violence. In 1990, after President F.W. de Klerk intervened, Mandela was released from prison. From May 1994 to 1999 Mandela was President of South Africa.

The life of the man is a testament to perseverance and a need to do what is right no matter the cost. In recognition of this the Weinstein Company produced a biopic chronicling the life of Nelson Mandela. Based on the autobiography of the same name, "Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom" spans the apartheid fighter's life from childhood to the presidency. The film stars British actor Idris Elba as Mandela. The film, which opened up in South African cinemas last week, is South Africa's all-time highest grossing film.

"Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom" has grossed 4.4 million rand or $427,000 and has broken records held by blockbuster movies such as "The Wolverine" and "Hangover 3." The film opened in the United States on Nov. 29 and averaged $25,076 per screening. Reviews of the film call it an "Oscar contender" and say that "Elba's performance in particular is worthy of a best acting nomination." For three months Mandela clung to life surrounded by the love of his family and the support of the people of South Africa.

Mandela was last seen in public in 2010 when South Africa hosted the soccer World Cup. Despite his death Nelson Mandela's name will live on as a symbol of resistance to oppression and racial domination. Mandela retired from public life in 2004 at the age of 85.

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