Upon his birth on July 18, 1918, he was named Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela. He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the tradition of giving “Christian” names to students.
Forced to go underground to evade the police, Mandela disguised himself as a chauffeur, a chef and a garden boy. “I would wear the blue overalls of the fieldworker and often wore round, rimless glasses known as Mazzawati teaglasses. I had a car and I wore a chauffeur's cap with my overalls. The pose of chauffeur was convenient because I could travel under the pretext of driving my master's car,” he wrote in his autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom."
In 1990, he embarked on a world tour, visiting British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the U.S. Congress, and U.S. President George H.W. Bush. An estimated 400,000 attended a ticker tape parade through the canyons of Wall Street in his honor.