Nelson Mandela, the former South African president whose stubborn defiance survived 27 years in prison and led to the dismantling of the country's racist and brutal apartheid system, has died. One of the giants of the 20th century, Mandela's career was marked not only by his heroic resistance to racism, but also by his poised and soft-spoken demeanor. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his leadership in ending apartheid without violence, and later became a global statesman who inspired millions of people around the world.