South Africa's anti- apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, dies at 90

 Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Anglican priest whose excellent humor, inspiring message, and sincere fight for civil and human rights helped him become a recognized leader throughout South Africa's campaign to eliminate apartheid, has died. He was 90 years old.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his sympathies to Tutu's family and friends in a statement confirming his death on Sunday, calling him "a patriot without peer."

 "A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world," Ramaphosa said.

Tutu had been unwell for several years. In 2013, he was tested for a chronic illness, and he was brought to the hospital multiple times in the years that followed.

Tutu, fondly known as "the Arch," was a leading voice in calling on the South African government to abolish apartheid, the country's official policy of racial segregation, for six decades. Tutu was appointed chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission when apartheid ended in the early 1990s and the country's long-imprisoned Nelson Mandela became president.

Tutu's humans rights activism earned him several international accolades. In 2009, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former US President Barack Obama. Tutu received a $1 million donation from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2012 for "his lifelong dedication to speaking truth to power." The Templeton Prize was awarded to him the following year for his "life-long labor in propagating spiritual values such as compassion and forgiveness, which has served to free people all over the world."

Most famously, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, following in the footsteps of his countryman, Albert Lutuli, who earned the award in 1960. 

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