July 18, 1918 – Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela near Qunu, in Transkei (now Eastern Cape), the youngest son of a counsellor to the chief of his Thembu clan.
1944 – Founds African National Congress (ANC) Youth League with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.
– Marries his first wife Evelyn. They had a daughter and two sons and were divorced in 1957.
1952 – Mandela and others arrested and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. Given suspended prison sentence.
– Elected deputy national president of ANC.
1958 – Marries Winnie Madikizela. They separated in April 1992 and were divorced about four years later.
1960 – Sharpeville Massacre of black protesters by police.
1962 – Mandela leaves secretly for military training in Morocco and Ethiopia. Returning to South Africa, the “Black Pimpernel” is captured and sentenced to five years for incitement and illegally leaving the country.
1963 – While serving, Mandela is charged with conspiracy and sabotage.
June 12, 1964 – Mandela and seven others are sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, off Cape Town.
February 2, 1990 – F.W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, lifts ban on ANC and other liberation movements.
February 11, 1990 – Mandela is freed from prison.
1991 – Elected president of the ANC.
October 1993 – Wins Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk.
April 27-29, 1994 – South Africa’s first all-race election.
May 10, 1994 – Inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.
December 1997 – Hands leadership of ANC to Deputy President Thabo Mbeki in first stage of phased transfer of power.
July 18, 1998 – Marks 80th birthday with marriage to Graca Machel, widow of Mozambican President Samora Machel.
June 16, 1999 – Retires, hands power to Mbeki.
January 6, 2005 – Announces that only surviving son Makgatho Mandela has died from AIDS at the age of 54.
July 18, 2007 – Launches international group of elder statesmen to tackle climate change, HIV/AIDS, poverty and other global problems.
June 26, 2008 – U.S. lawmakers erase references to Mandela as a terrorist from national databases.
May 9, 2009 – Attends Jacob Zuma’s presidential inauguration ceremony.
July 11, 2010 – Attends World Cup final between Netherlands and Spain.
June 8, 2013 – Hospitalised for recurrence of lung infection.
July 18, 2013 – Six weeks after being hospitalised, on his 95th birthday, the government says Mandela is improving. Many in South Africa celebrate Mandela Day with 67 minutes of public service to honour the 67 years Mandela served humanity.
September 1, 2013 – Mandela is discharged and returns home after spending 87 days in a Pretoria hospital.
December 5, 2013 – Nelson Mandela dies at 95 peacefully at home.