Prior to his arrest, Mandela, who was given the name “Nelson” by a former teacher, graduated from the University of South Africa with a degree in law. He also became president of the African National Congress and was among 156 leaders arrested for high treason. Mandela represented himself during trial and on Nov. 7, 1962, he was sentenced to five years of hard labor. Two years later, he was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage.
Nelson Mandela would not be released until February 11, 1990. He would go on to become South Africa’s first Black president.