updated 02:59 am EST, Sat December 7, 2013
South African leader and pioneer honored echoing 'Think Different' campaign
Late on Friday, Apple changed its website home page with a picture honoring former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95. The move comes after CEO Tim Cook posted a tweet quoting Mandela, who was revered worldwide for his political suffrage and leadership of the anti-apartheid movement that eventually overthrew the government and replaced it with a truly representational democracy, of which Mandela himself was the first leader.
"Amazing human being. Champion of freedom and human dignity. He set an example for all of the world. RIP Nelson Mandela. We miss you already," Cook tweeted on Thursday. He also quoted Mandela in a follow-up tweet: "'What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others ...' Mandela 2002," it read.
Apple only rarely honors individuals on its front page. It did so when Steve Jobs passed away in October of 2011, and also similarly honored the passing of Apple board member Jerry York and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. The tribute is a simple image of Mandela with his birth and death dates.
Mandela was incarcerated for his anti-apartheid stance and association with the sometimes-violent African National Congress by the apartheid government. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he was released in 1990 after a 27-year confinement due to mounting political pressure and an international boycott mostly spearheaded by the western music and arts community.
Though mostly a non-violent activist, particularly after his release, he had prior to his arrest been involved in a campaign of sabotage against the government. He was elected president of the ANC after his release and went on to petition successfully for the dissolution of the apartheid government, winning the first fully democratic election and helping create a new constitution, Truth and Reconciliation Committee and a number of other reforms.
Following his term of office, he became an "elder statesman" and advisor to leaders around the world and voice for peaceful protest, having successfully transitioned South Africa to a representative democracy and diffusing a brewing civil war among the fledgling political parties created in the wake of apartheid's end. For many around the world, his legacy of steadfast determination and advocacy for non-violent progressivism marks him as one of the modern world's all-time great leaders.