Nelson Mandela, the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative election, turns 93 today, USA Today
Mandela has long retired from public life and will spend his birthday with his family in his home village of Qunu located nearly 600 miles south of Johannesburg.
The former president spent 27 years in prison for his outspoken criticism and fight against apartheid, but was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
President Obama and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa have both reached out to Mandela to wish him a happy birthday.
In 2009, Mandela’s birthday was declared an international day devoted to public service.
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