Oliver Tambo
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Oliver Tambo
 
Oliver Reginald Kaizana Tambo was a South African anti-apartheid politician and revolutionary who served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1967 to 1991. Tambo was
born on October 27, 1917, in the village of Nkantolo in Bizana. He attended Anglican and Methodist mission schools and the University of Fort Hare (B.S., 1941) and later studied law. In 1944, Tambo co-founded the ANC Youth League with Nelson Mandela and others.  In 1952 he joined Mandela to establish South Africa’s first black law practice. Tambo left South Africa to help set up the organisation’s foreign headquarters. By skilful lobbying throughout the world and attracting the most talented South African exiles (such as Thabo Mbeki), he was able to build the organisation into the legitimate voice of black South Africans. Tambo returned to South Africa from exile on December 13, 1990, to attend the first full-scale conference of ANC members (including exiles and the formerly imprisoned) in more than 30 years.
 
After the death of ANC president Albert Luthuli in 1967, Tambo began serving as acting president; he was officially appointed to the post in 1969. However, because of ill health due to an earlier stroke, Tambo yielded the ANC presidency in 1991 to his old colleague Mandela.  After suffering complications following a stroke, Tambo died on April 24, 1993, at the age of 75. The ANC’s 1994 election victory is attributable as much to the work of Tambo as it is to that of Mandela.
 
 
Rob C. Croes for Anefo, CC BY-SA 3.0 NL <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/nl/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons