Archbishop Desmond Tutua Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his stances for human rights and against South Africa's white minority ruledied Dec. 26 at age 90.
According to Reuters, the presidency conveyed news of Tutu's death to the media. President Cyril Ramaphosa said, in part, "Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal."
In 1984, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid, the South African system of race-based segregation. A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and, in recent years, was hospitalized on several occasions to treat infections associated with his cancer treatment.
"His most characteristic quality is his readiness to take unpopular positions without fear," the late leader Nelson Mandela once said of Tutu. "Such independence of mind is vital to a thriving democracy."
Tutu was also a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community, recently comparing anti-LGBTQ+ laws and violence to apartheid, PinkNews noted. In a video for the United Nations Free and Equal campaign that LGBT+ Rights Ghana shared, Tutu said, "I have to tell you, I cannot keep quiet when people are penalized for something about which they can do nothing. … Perniciously, more ghastly, is the fact that people are penalized, killedall sorts of ghastly things happen to themsimply, solely on the basis of their sexual orientation."
In 2016, Windy City Times noted (citing Times Live) that the Rev. Canon Mpho Tutu, the archbishop's daughter, had married Dutch woman Professor Marceline van Furth the previous year in a civil ceremony in the Netherlands.