In pictures: The Life History of Robert Gabriel Mugabe

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Mugabe was born on February 21 in what was then British-ruled Southern Rhodesia. He was the son of Bona and Gabriel, a carpenter. 

Mugabe was born on February 21 in what was then British-ruled Southern Rhodesia. He was the son of Bona and Gabriel, a carpenter.  [File: AP Photo]

Robert Mugabe, the rebel who led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, has died at the age of 95.

Mugabe died on Friday in Singapore, where he often went for medical treatment in recent years. His death was confirmed by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday.

In November, Mnangagwa said Mugabe was no longer able to walk and had been admitted to a hospital in Singapore, without saying what treatment Mugabe had been undergoing.

Officials often said he was being treated for a cataract, denying frequent private media reports that claimed he had prostate cancer.

On leading Zimbabwe to independence from Britain, Mugabe was feted as an African liberation hero and champion of racial reconciliation.

But as his decades-long rule persisted, many at home and abroad denounced him as an autocrat, willing to rig elections and affect the economy in his pursuit of control.

Al Jazeera takes a look at some of the key moments of Mugabe’s life.

Despite poor school and job prospects for most black people, he gained a Jesuit education and thrived in academia. [File: Getty Images]
Despite poor school and job prospects for most black people, he gained a Jesuit education and thrived in academia. FILE: GETTY IMAGES
Mugabe embraced socialism. He spent 11 years in jail, waging a rebellion from behind bars. After Zimbabwe's Independence, Mugabe was elected prime minister. After two terms, he abolished the position and became president in 1987, a post he held for 30 years. [File: AP Photo]
Mugabe embraced socialism. He spent 11 years in jail, waging a rebellion from behind bars. After Zimbabwe’s Independence, Mugabe was elected prime minister. After two terms, he abolished the position and became president in 1987, a post he held for 30 years. FILE: AP PHOTO
In 1996, he married Grace Marufu at the Kutama Catholic Mission. [File: AP Photo]
In 1996, he married Grace Marufu at the Kutama Catholic Mission. FILE: AP PHOTO
When Mugabe took power, Zimbabwe began to recover from conflict. But a land reform policy that saw black farmers take over white-owned farms sparked domestic outrage. [File: AP Photo]
When Mugabe took power, Zimbabwe began to recover from conflict. But a land reform policy that saw black farmers take over white-owned farms sparked domestic outrage. FILE: AP PHOTO
After the land reform was passed, Western nations slapped sanctions on the country. Mugabe blamed those sanctions for the economic collapse that followed. [File: AP Photo]
After the land reform was passed, Western nations slapped sanctions on the country. Mugabe blamed those sanctions for the economic collapse that followed. FILE: AP PHOTO
During his time in power, Mugabe met Cuba's President Fidel Castro several times. He praised his government for having trained thousands of Zimbabwean doctors and teachers. [File:Jose Goitia/AP Photo]
During his time in power, Mugabe met Cuba’s President Fidel Castro several times. He praised his government for having trained thousands of Zimbabwean doctors and teachers. FILE:JOSE GOITIA/AP PHOTO
Mugabe and South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela were political leaders and contemporaries whose backgrounds were very similar, however their paths eventually diverged. [File: Rob Cooper/Reuters]
Mugabe and South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela were political leaders and contemporaries whose backgrounds were very similar, however their paths eventually diverged. FILE: ROB COOPER/REUTERS
Mugabe also met the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] Yasser Arafat, who reportedly praised the leader for his solidarity towards the Palestinian people. [File: AP Photo]
Mugabe also met the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] Yasser Arafat, who reportedly praised the leader for his solidarity towards the Palestinian people. FILE: AP PHOTO
In 2017, Mugabe was forced to step down by the military, following nationwide mass protests. [File: AP Photo]
In 2017, Mugabe was forced to step down by the military, following nationwide mass protests. FILE: AP PHOTO

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