Graphic shows profile of Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies

By Phil Bainbridge

December 26, 2021 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid icon and conscience of a nation, died at his home in cape Town, South Africa.

Born to a poor family in a gold-mining town in then-Transvaal, South Africa in 1931, the articulate, charismatic Desmond Tutu joined the church in 1945 where he became server to the priest Trevor
Huddleston, who went on to become arguably the biggest single influence on his life.

He joined the clergy after a brief career in teaching, following the Bantu Education Act, which racially segregated schools and was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1960. He became active in speaking out against apartheid as rector of a Soweto parish, later becoming General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, where he urged world leaders to support the international economic boycott of the apartheid regime.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and following the first post-apartheid elections, was asked by President Nelson Mandela to head the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, a groundbreaking attempt to heal deep, historic wounds.

PUBLISHED: 26/12/2021; STORY: Susan Shepherd; PICTURES: Getty Images