Revd Desmond Tutu was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church in 1960, and after a remarkable career of ministry, in 1980 he was elected Archbishop of Cape Town. After the country’s first multi racial elections in 1994, President Mandela appointed Archbishop Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, investigating the human rights violations of the previous 34 years In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, “not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he is leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world.”
Born in Klerksdorp, in the South African state of Transvaal. The family moved to Johannesburg when he was 12, and he attended Johannesburg Bantu High School.
He trained as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and graduated from the University of South Africa in 1954. He lived in England from 1962 to 1966, where he earned a master’s degree in theology. He taught theology in South Africa for the next five years, and returned to England to serve as an assistant director of the World Council of Churches in London.
In 1975 he became the first black African to serve as Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho. In 1978 he became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.
Today he is a Professor of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Published collections of his speeches, sermons and other writings include Crying in the Wilderness, Hope and Suffering, and The Rainbow People of God.