Nelson Mandela celebrating 95th birthday Thursday

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Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 9:22am

As an ailing Nelson Mandela recuperates in a South African hospital, the world will celebrate his 95th birthday Thursday.

South Africa's current president said Tuesday that Mandela, who has been hospitalized since June, is steadily improving. The revered statesman is battling a lung ailment.

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Laureate, spent 27 years in prison for fighting against oppression of minorities in South Africa.

He became the nation's first black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison. Mandela's foundation is asking people to take part in at least 67 minutes of public service on his birthday. That's the number of years he devoted to public service.

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