Mannie Jackson, who was born in a boxcar and went on to travel the world as owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, has given $5 million to the Museum of African Art for its Fifth Avenue building, scheduled to open in late 2012.

The gift will fund a gallery dedicated to the “heroic leadership” of Nelson Mandela, with whom Mr. Jackson said he and his family developed a close bond through many visits to South Africa.

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