How tall is Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela's Height

6ft 0in (183 cm)

Former President of South Africa from 1994-99. On his 1990 passport his height is given as 1.83m.

Add a Comment 57 comments

Average Guess (10 Votes)
5ft 11.38in (181.3cm)
Darryl178 said on 5/Mar/17
Rob how long do you believe he held 6ft? Is it possible he was over this mark before he was imprisoned?
Editor Rob: Darryl, of course there is a chance he was over six foot, I think he could in early 60's still look that range.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 19/Feb/17
He looked at least 6ft in the 90's
darryl178 said on 30/Jan/17
How long do you think he maintained the 6'0" mark, @Rob?
James said on 17/Dec/16
Mandela was six foot at his peak.
Roger said on 3/Dec/16
Rob, how tall do u think the guy beside Mandela is?Click Here
Editor Rob: he could be at least 6ft 1-1.5 range
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 18/Nov/16
I would say it's likely that he was substantially over this mark...by how much is the question though, 1,2,3 or even 4in?


we'll never know
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 18/Nov/16
Rob, just to clarify...he was 72 when he was released and 77 when he presented the RWC trophy to Francois Pienaar...and he still looked at least 6ft. So I think we should stop looking at photos from that era and go way back to before he was imprisoned. This is what I could find

Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here (2nd tallest guy in the back row)

If he was only 6ft or even 6ft1 when these photos were taken then all of those guys that he's standing with must have been significantly below average which I somehow doubt given how tall South Africans tend to be generally. I don't think we should just squash the claims of him standing anywhere from 6ft2 to 6ft4 as being just folklore....because it's just impossible to know for certain. With all the years he spent in prison, he probably didn't have the best nutrition...so it wouldn't shock me that he had lost a fair amount of height by 1990...just asking that you consider those notions
ArthurJohn said on 18/Nov/16
Telegraph mentioned Mandela was 6'4" (1.93 m) tall, and that directors couldn't find actors tall enough to play him in his documentary film!
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 1/Aug/16
I think its likely he lost 1in or more even by the time he was released from prison. I was shocked to read only 6ft for him. I had heard as high as 6ft4. Not so sure on that but looking at pictures of him in the 90's, he did look like a guy who had lost height
Tubbs said on 12/Jul/16
How about Mugabe? 5'8 region? I've no idea....
Editor Rob: 5ft 7-8 range possibly, but then he would have shrunk more by now I'm sure...
zoj said on 23/Jun/16
seriously, The man was around Bill Clinton's height in the early 90's and he was in his late 70's in age, after having spent 27 years in prison cracking up rocks and other forms of hard labour and bad diet. You honestly think he wouldn’t have lost a fair bit of height after all of that?? My estimate is that he may have been 6'2"-6'3" in his younger days.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 10/Mar/15
Rob, how tall do you think Fidel Castro was peak?

I've seen 6ft3 out there
[Editor Rob: might have been a tad optimistic ]
Mike said on 22/Dec/14
Might've been 6ft 1 in younger days.
Mike said on 22/Dec/14
Might've been 6ft 1 in younger days.
Sam said on 18/Jul/14
Actually, Mandela looks similar but a smidge taller than Bill Clinton IMO...178 cm is ridiculous, 183 cm is lowest I go, but he seems a man of more than six feet even at times.
Click Here
Geo said on 14/Jul/14
I saw a photo with him next to Clinton who is 6'2". He looked about an inch or so shorter…probably 6"-6'1".
Guy said on 23/Jun/14
Mandela never was a 193 man or even a 188. I do think he could have been a solid 184 in his younger years, we just have to look photos of him with other presidents like fidel Castro for example who is 183-184, or his many photos with Michael Jackson.
MrTBlack said on 9/May/14
@everyone who said 6'4".

Nope never was and never will be. If he ever was that tall, he probably would have put it on his passport. He may have lost height as he aged but it wasn't 4" for sure.
french guy said on 12/Mar/14
black south africans are short so he may have looked very tall with them, that 's why many believe he is 193 cm because he looked as tall as a 193 cm look in western countries.
176,2Tunman said on 4/Feb/14
He definitely looked a legit 6'with 6'3 Pienaar but he was aged 77 at that time so lost a good amount of height.Question is how much his years at Robben Island affected his stature. His peak is certainly somewhere between 6'1 and 6'1.5. He needs a serious upgrade.
satchy said on 11/Jan/14
agree mr man around 6ft 4 peak
truth said on 31/Dec/13
come on now, 183cm peak and 180cm or 181cm before he died, how can a normal person loose anything 5cm or more? You people are crazy.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 21/Dec/13
He was actually 77 in 1995, so we can safely assume that he'd lost a fair bit of height by then.
Mathew said on 21/Dec/13
6'4" is crazy. 6'0" he was. Peak height, written on his passport.
[Editor Rob: or 178cm which he had on his Ethiopian passport!]
Arch Stanton said on 20/Dec/13
6'4" peak is pretty impossible Mr Man, see him next to solid 6'3" er Francois at the age of 72. 6'2" I'd say is the very most he could have been peak, more likely 6'1" range.
mr man said on 18/Dec/13
6'4" on the dot, probably 6'2" in the last decade or two
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 17/Dec/13
"Nelson Mandela height: 6ft 2in (188cm)"
Fern194cm-192cm said on 12/Dec/13
I have absolutely nothing against Nelson Mandela. R.I.P Nelson Mandela. I just don't think he was any taller than 6,0. I find it strange that they would only let Idris Elba play him because Idris is tall (around 6,3).
Rob can you consider adding adding strongman Brian Shaw? He is supposedly 6,8.
Hola said on 12/Dec/13
@Bosnia

Thanks for believing that height is a measure for succes. Get lost.

Whether or not his accomplishments were exaggerated is for historians to say. What can be said is that he was on several terror-lists back in the day, so the people who think he fought passively need a wake-up call. Disclaimer: I'm not saying he did anything wrong, he was a great man.
5ft10guy said on 12/Dec/13
strange I saw somewhere else he was 6ft2.I really thought he was 6ft2 before this listing
Bosnia said on 11/Dec/13
Fern194cm-192cm says on 10/Dec/13 He was never 6,4 or 6,3 or 6,2 or 6,1. He was 6,0 peak as ROb has him. By the time he died maybe 5,10. His height was exaggerated just like his accomplishments.

Exaggerated? 27 years was exaggerated? Rob should put him on 6'7" based on his accomplishments.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 11/Dec/13
@Fern194cm-192cm: that's a profoundly stupid thing to say. I bet you were pro-apartheid.

Francois Pienaar is a strong 6ft3 guy. Had 5-6in on Matt Damon. Mandela was 77 when that happened, Jake. I would say at least 6ft1.5/187cm for a young Madiba.
Fern194cm-192cm said on 10/Dec/13
He was never 6,4 or 6,3 or 6,2 or 6,1. He was 6,0 peak as ROb has him. By the time he died maybe 5,10. His height was exaggerated just like his accomplishments.
jordydecke said on 8/Dec/13
so how come there were so many rumours that he was 6'4? A four inch difference is pretty vast, maybe nearer 6'1/6'2 peak?
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 8/Dec/13
188-189cm in his prime
Mathew said on 8/Dec/13
Blaze says on 7/Dec/13
He was 6'4 in his peak

---

Not a chance.
Mr. R said on 8/Dec/13
I think that he was close to 6-2 in his prime.
Blaze said on 7/Dec/13
He was 6'4 in his peak
Mathew said on 7/Dec/13
Listed at 6'4" in some places, but was really 6'0". And did a lot of great things.
MrTBlack said on 7/Dec/13
Looking at that pic, I'd say he was 5'11" there but 6' when he was younger.
Arch Stanton said on 7/Dec/13
You can see in the Francois Pinoir picture he was never 6'3-6'4", but he could certainly have been 6'1"-6'2" peak...
Sharpshooter said on 7/Dec/13
Rob - Small correction in 1990 he would have been in his early 70s (which makes his story more remarkable!).

Given he spent much of those years in hard labour working in a quary, its not inconceivable he lost height through the ages of 45 to 71 (his ages he was in prison). I think if you are going to justify this listing you are going to have to look at his height while he was in prison or before it. I'm not sure its completely accurate to base Mandela's height after he was released when he was 71. I agree with others I think a peak height might be called for. I can't believe the height he was when he was president was the same as when he was in say 50 in 1968!

Amazing man though. RIP.
truth said on 7/Dec/13
yeah I always thought around 6ft maybe 182cm better fit. 6ft1+ is insane.
jtm said on 7/Dec/13
RIP. you will be missed
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 7/Dec/13
Francois Pienaar is a tall guy. I estimate gim to be 6ft3-6ft4. He's been listed at both of those and looks in that range next to Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman.

Mandela's height is a mystery. As a young man I reckon about 6ft2. He was 72 in 1990.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 7/Dec/13
Just 6ft?

I thought he was 6ft3-6ft4
Arch Stanton said on 7/Dec/13
Rob don't you think his peak height is disputable. I mean in 1990 he's have been nearly 80 and 82 I think when that photo was taken. It is possible he was measured 183cm in 1990 at the time of the passport. Clint Eastwood's 83 and look at him... Given the average of 1 inch loss after 60 do you think 6 ft 2 peak was possible?
[Editor Rob: in 90 he'd be early 60's, so it's not impossible to have been about same height or not lost much.]
Arch Stanton said on 7/Dec/13
6'4" LOL. Click Here Francois is a solid 6'3 guy, 191-2. Mandela was in his 80s when that was taken and does look around 6 ft in comparison. Peak I could buy 6'1-6'2" but 6'4" is taking the biscuit.
Anshelm said on 7/Dec/13
With Bill Clinton in 1994 Click Here
With George Bush (the elder) on June 25, 1990 Click Here
With George W. Bush (no date given) Click Here
Paul said on 7/Dec/13
R.I.P. Truly one of the greatest figures of the past century.
MrTBlack said on 7/Dec/13
No. The absolute most he was was 6'0 1/2". The most one can be is a half an inch higher than their claim.
jordydecke said on 6/Dec/13
rip nelson mandela. on the matter of height I've seen a lot of sources say that he was 6'4 (at peak) have a look at this article...

Click Here
what do you think?
the shredder said on 6/Dec/13
I thought he was like 6'3. Great man rip.
Arch Stantion said on 6/Dec/13
RIP Great One. Agree on 6 ft peak, he was 95 when he died so obviously even by the 90s could have already lost 2 inches.
Clay said on 6/Dec/13
Rest is heaven Madiba i will always love and remeber you with my all heart to forever...
SAK said on 6/Dec/13
Many that met Mandela said he was taller then they expected.
MD said on 6/Dec/13
Wow, I thought he was much taller for some reason. Probably just how he carried himself.

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

Other vital statistics like weight, shoe or bra size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

Celebrity Fan Photos and Agency Pictures of stars are © to their respective owners.