Nelson Mandela Marks His 93rd Birthday

Posted July 18th, 2011 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, marked his 93rd birthday Monday by receiving good wishes from around the globe and greetings from family and friends.

The current South African president, Jacob Zuma, visited the anti-apartheid icon at his home in Qunu, the town in the Eastern Cape where he was born on July 18, 1918.

Mr. Zuma told reporters Mr. Mandela was in “absolute good spirits.” Photos released to the media show him surrounded by relatives, smiling broadly.

The United Nations has declared July 18 as “Nelson Mandela Day” to honor the man who spent nearly three decades imprisoned for fighting against the now abandoned system of white minority rule.

U.S. President Barack Obama called Mr. Mandela “a beacon for the global community, and for all who work for democracy, justice and reconciliation.”