Gov. John Kitzhaber ordered all flags at public institutions to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Monday, Dec. 9, in memory of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president who died Thursday at age 95.

“Nelson Mandela led an incredible and inspiring life,” Kitzhaber said. “Oregonians join the rest of the world in mourning the loss of this true giant.”

Mandela was a leader in the African National Congress that fought against the Republic of South Africa's apartheid system. He spent 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activities.

After his release in 1990, Mandela became an activist for peace and reconciliation that eventually led to his election as the first black president in a multi-racial nation. He served as president from 1994 to 1999.

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