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President Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Washington
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu arrives prior to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington on August 12, 2009. UPI/Gary Fabiano/Pool
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Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. He was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa).

Tutu has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, homophobia, transphobia, poverty and racism. Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987, the Sydney Peace Prize (1999) the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Tutu has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, the second of the three children of Zacheriah Zililo Tutu and his wife, Aletta, and the only son. Tutu's family moved to Johannesburg when he was twelve. His father was a teacher and his mother a cleaner and cook at a school for the blind. Here he met Trevor Huddleston who was a parish priest in the black slum of Sophiatown. "One day," said Tutu, "I was standing in the street with my mother when a white man in a priest's clothing walked past. As he passed us he took off his hat to my mother. I couldn't believe my eyes – a white man who greeted a black working class woman!"

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Desmond Tutu."
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