Nelson MandelaIt's a big day for one of the world's heroes. Nelson Mandela, the revolutionary who battled South Africa's racist apartheid policies to become the country's first black president, was hospitalized in early June with a lung infection. At the time, media reports put him near death. But he's always been a fighter, and he held on. Today on his birthday, Mandela turns 95.

The former South African leader's life has never been easy -- from the death of his father at just 9 to spending 27 years in prison for his role in fighting for the rights of his nation's people. But today, on his birthday, we honor the Nobel Peace Prize winner for what he has accomplished as much because of his hardships as despite them.

Here's a look back at some of the great leader's most famous quotes over the years.

From quotes about courage to quotes about education, they're a reminder of just why Nelson Mandela is a man who can stop the world when he speaks.

Which is your favorite?

 

Image via South Africa the Good News/Flickr