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Desmond M. Tutu Professor in Public Health and Human Rights

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Established in 2014 by Ed and Kathy Ludwig and an Anonymous Donor in honor of Bishop Desmond M. Tutu

TutuDesmondBISHOP DESMOND M. TUTU was born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal. His father was a teacher, and he himself was educated at Johannesburg Bantu High School. After leaving school he trained first as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and in 1954 he graduated from the University of South Africa. After three years as a high school teacher he began to study theology, being ordained as a priest in 1960. The years 1962-66 were devoted to further theological study in England leading up to a Master of Theology. From 1967 to 1972 he taught theology in South Africa before returning to England for three years as the assistant director of a theological institute in London. In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. Tutu is an honorary doctor of a number of leading universities in the USA, Britain and Germany.

As Archbishop of Capetown, Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his fight against South Africa’s apartheid laws, which were repealed in 1993. The new president, Nelson Mandela, entrusted Tutu with chairing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated the atrocities committed under apartheid.