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Desmond Mpilo Tutu

Tutu, Desmond Mpilo, 1931–, South African religious leader. Educated in South Africa and London and ordained in 1961, he became (1975) the first black Anglican dean of Johannesburg. As general secretary of the South African Council of Churches (1978–84) he was an outspoken campaigner against apartheid, and he was awarded (1984) the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent advocacy of reform. In 1986 he became the first black to be elected archbishop of Cape Town (the Anglican primate of South Africa); he served until 1996. Tutu remained active in South Africa's political affairs, at times criticizing the nation's postapartheid political leadership on a number of issues, and headed (1996–2003) the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was responsible for investigating human-rights abuses during the apartheid era. Tutu also has been a critic of Zimbabwe's President Mugabe and of the reluctance of other African leaders to criticize Mugabe's repressive regime. In 2013 he was awarded the Templeton Prize.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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