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27 Dec 2021

Desmond Tutu dies at 90, timeline of a life committed to equality

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December 27, 2021 Category: Stateside Posted by:

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon, an uncompromising foe of apartheid and a modern-day activist for racial justice and LGBT rights, died Sunday at 90. South Africans, world leaders and people around the globe mourned the death of the man viewed as the country’s moral conscience.

Tutu worked passionately, tirelessly and non-violently to tear down apartheid — South Africa’s brutal, decades-long regime of oppression against its Black majority that ended in 1994.

The buoyant, blunt-spoken clergyman used his pulpit as the first Black bishop of Johannesburg and later as the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, as well as frequent public demonstrations, to galvanize public opinion against racial inequity, both at home and globally.

1931 – Oct. 7 – Desmond Mpilo Tutu is born in Klerksdorp, near Johannesburg.1947 – Contracts tuberculosis, as he recuperates he is visited by Trevor Huddleston, a British Anglican pastor working in South Africa.

1955 – Marries Nomalizo Leah Shenxane and begins teaching at a secondary school in Johannesburg.

1961 – Is ordained as a minister in the Anglican church, after quitting teaching in disgust at South Africa’s apartheid government’s inferior education for Blacks.

1962 – Studies theology at King’s College London.

1966 – Returns to South Africa to teach at a seminary in the Eastern Cape.

1975 – Becomes the Anglican church’s first Black dean of Johannesburg.

1976 – Serves as Bishop of Lesotho and voices criticism of apartheid in South Africa.

1978 – Becomes general-secretary of the South African Council of Churches and achieves global prominence as a leading opponent of apartheid, supports economic sanctions to achieve majority rule in South Africa.ADVERTISEMENT

1984 – Wins Nobel Peace Prize – “There is no peace in southern Africa. There is no peace because there is no justice. There can be no real peace and security until there be first justice enjoyed by all the inhabitants of that beautiful land,” Tutu says in his acceptance speech.

1985 – Becomes the first Black bishop of Johannesburg.

1986 – Is ordained the first Black Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town.

1989 – Leads anti-apartheid march of 30,000 people through Cape Town.

1990 – Hosts Nelson Mandela for his first night of freedom after Mandela is released from prison after being held for 27 years for his opposition to apartheid. Mandela calls Tutu “the peoples’ archbishop.”

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