Nelson Mandela was a political leader who was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, Africa. In 1942, he joined the African National Congress. He stood up for the rights of the black South Africans. He was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial. Mandela served 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. He became South Africa’s first Black President in 1994.