Desmond Tutu – age, children, facts and quotes from the archbishop

ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu has died at the age of 90.

In his efforts as a human rights activist, he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system.

Who was Desmond Tutu?

Desmond Tutu, 87, was one of South Africa's most well-known human rights activists.

He was the recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending apartheid.

Born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa, he became the first Black Anglican Archbishop of both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

During the 1980s, he played a role in drawing national and international attention to the iniquities of apartheid.

He later chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and has continued to draw attention to a number of social justice issues over the years.

In 1993, South African apartheid finally came to an end, and in 1994, South Africans elected Nelson Mandela as their first black president.

President Mandela also appointed Tutu to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, tasked with investigating and reporting on the atrocities committed by both sides in the struggle over apartheid.

What was Desmond Tutu's cause of death?

A statement on behalf of his family, from Dr Ramphela Mamphele, described him as a man who "turned his own misfortune into a teaching opportunity to raise awareness and reduce the suffering of others."

"Ultimately, at the age of 90, he died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town this morning.

"Courageous, gracious, and concerned for the welfare of others to the very end.

"As Mrs Tutu says, although he was not physically imposing, he had the inner strength of a lion."

"He wanted the world to know that he had prostate cancer, and that the sooner it is detected the better the chance of managing it."

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years he was hospitalised on several occasions to treat infections associated with his treatment.

Ms Mamphele did not give details on the cause of death.

Who is his wife Nomalizo Leah?

Desmond married Nomalizo Leah on July 2, 1955.

Leah is an 88-year-old activist, educator, and nurse. The South-Africa based activist is also the co-founder of the South African Domestic Workers Association.

Nomalizo also founded a peace center named after her husband in 1998.

Born on October 14, 1933, Nomalizo supported her husband in his anti-apartheid efforts, and the duo actively advocated for human rights in the country.

Did Desmond Tutu have any children?

The couple have four children together – three daughters and a son – all of which were born in London.

His three daughters are: Mpho, Naomi and Theresa, and his son is named Trevor.

Desmond also had three grandchildren.



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What were Desmond Tutu's most famous quotes?

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."

"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights."

"Without forgiveness, there's no future."

"We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low."

"A person is a person because he recognises others as persons."

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