- Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday party in 2008. Rodger Bosch/Getty Images
Mandela gave his first TV interview in 1961"The question of education has nothing to do with the question of the vote ... you don't have to have education in order to know that you want certain fundamental rights."
Famous words from 1964: 'I am prepared to die'Rather than testify in the court case that would lead to a life sentence in prison, Mandela chose to give a roughly four-hour speech at the start of his trial.
His famous words, delivered at the end of the speech, were: "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for, but may not. If it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
His reaction to being released from prison in 1990"I must confess, I am unable to describe my emotions ... it was breathtaking," Mandela said in his first international press conference on February 12, 1990.
He also gave a speech on the day of his release from prison.
How Mandela reacted to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993"Let the strivings of us all, prove Martin Luther King Jr. to have been correct, when he said that humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war. Let the efforts of us all, prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold," Mandela said during his acceptance speech. (Watch the full speech or read the transcript).
Going on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2001When Winfrey pressed Mandela on how he overcame bitterness about the past and his imprisonment, he said: "I hated oppression and when I think about the past, the type of things they did, I feel angry. You have a limited time to stay on Earth. You must try and use that period for the purpose of transforming your country into what you desire it to be — democratic, non-racial, non-sexist country. And that was a great task."
- To introduce Mandela on the show, Winfrey narrated a roughly 7-minute package documenting his life, struggles and triumphs.
Also in 2001, Mandela met with boxer Lennox LewisMandela, a boxer in his younger years, wrote about the sport in his autobiography the Long Walk to Freedom: "Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant ... It was a way of losing myself in something that was not the struggle."
Mandela came out of retirement to speak about poverty in 2005"As you know, I recently formally announced my retirement from public life and should really not be here," Mandela said in his speech at London's Trafalgar Square. "However, as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest."