Archbishop Desmond Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, South Africa. His father was a schoolteacher and his mother was a domestic worker. He taught theology at universities in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. His role as a rising figure in church councils led to leadership positions including Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, and Bishop of Lesotho. In 1978, Archbishop Tutu became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), a turning point in South African history.
Archbishop Tutu received the Nobel Prize in 1984 for his work leading the South African Council of Churches, as well as for his tireless efforts to provide assistance to victims of apartheid and support for the cause of racial justice. Under his energetic guidance, the SACC has been distinguished by its commitment to the cause of ecumenism and to fulfilling the social responsibility of the Church, with justice and reconciliation among its top priorities. After the end of the apartheid system in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu played a prominent role in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was established to investigate human rights violations under the apartheid regime. This effort led to a report published in 1998.
Archbishop Tutu’s book, No Future Without Forgiveness, received the Book of the Year Award from the Association of Theological Booksellers of the United States, and the Sandro Onofri Prize, bestowed by the Council of Rome, Italy. His most recent publication is titled God Has a Dream.