A “Rabble-Rouser for Peace,” Tutu remains a global moral authority as a truth-teller.

Desmond Tutu
b. 1931, Klerksdorp, South Africa
Works in Cape Town

There are different kinds of justice. Retributive justice is largely Western. The African understanding is far more restorative—not so much to punish as to redress or restore a balance that been knocked askew.
—Desmond Tutu, 1996

Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship between individuals or within and between nations.
—Desmond Tutu, 2000

• Ordained an Anglican priest in 1961, Tutu rose through the church hierarchy to become general secretary of the South African Council of Churches—a position in which he gained global prominence as an advocate for nonviolent resistance to apartheid.
• Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
• Tutu was elected archbishop of Cape Town in 1986, making him the highest Anglican authority in the country. Not known for holding back his opinions, Tutu earned a reputation for his incisive, wry, and often humorous insights. He also promoted the vision of a democratic South Africa as the “Rainbow Nation.”
President Nelson Mandela asked Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1996 to 1998. Promoting a vision of restorative justice and determined to hear from the “little people” whose suffering had been ignored, Tutu was sometimes openly overwhelmed with the emotion of the painful testimony. The commission took over 22,000 statements.
• Approaching retirement, Archbishop Tutu was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.


  • Title: Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  • Creator: Benny Gool
  • Date Created: 2004-02-11
  • Location Created: Unknown

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