Mandela was himself uneasy with the idea of being an icon and he did not escape criticism as an individual and a politician, though much of it was muted by his status as a unassailable symbol of decency and principle.
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Inspiration: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, meets with former South Africa President Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu, South Africa, last year.
Former South African president and ex-leader of African National Congress (ANC) Nelson Mandela with American talkshow host Oprah Winfrey in 2005.
The former South African president with award winning actress, Charlize Theron, in South Africa in 2003 after she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the movie Monster.
Famous friends: British supermodel Naomi Campbell and Nelson Mandela at a Othandweni orphanage in Hillbrow, South Africa, in 2001.
Widely adored: A 1997 meeting of Mandela and Prime Minister Tony Blair at St Andrews.
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