Nelson Mandela is widely regarded as one of history’s great leaders—enough that if the Nobel Committee hadn’t awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize, you would have said that they messed up, not him. Yet before winning the prize and becoming the father of a nation, he advocated violence. Many considered him a terrorist. What led to his development into a historic man of peace? What can we learn from that development?
Mandela was born in 1918 in a rural area of South Africa, where the white minority held political power. He was the first in his family to go to school. In 1941, he ran away to Johannesburg, where he became a lawyer and entered politics. He joined the African National Congress (ANC), a group promoting African unity ...