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Using diplomacy and peaceful campaigning, Tutu has spent a lifetime striving to make the world a better place.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/10/tutu.art.jpg caption="Archbishop Desmond Tutu healing the world spiritually and environmentally."]
Throughout the 70s and 80s he was a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement in his home country South Africa. The cleric was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, and became the first black head of the Anglican Church of South Africa.
Not always popular, he had many enemies during decades of racial turbulence, but his faith, and trust in the universal goodness of humanity, carried him through.
Tutu celebrated with the rest of South Africa when in 1994 the apartheid system was dismantled. Since then, he has had more freedom to spread his universal message of tolerance and optimism – the essential good of man, in the face of evil.
Tutu’s religious and moral code, and his high-profile status, placed him ideally to sit on the TRC – Truth and Reconciliation Commission – a body which eased South Africa in to its new democratic era, with a very simple concept: forgiveness granted in exchange for the truth.
Nowadays, Tutu’s attentions turn to the global community and he throws himself in to many active causes on the international stage.
And This week he is coming out with his new Children's Bible.
Last week on Thursday Tutu announced he will retire from public life in October, when he turns 79 years old. "Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family - reading and writing and praying and thinking - too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," the Nobel laureate said in a statement. "The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses," he said.