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South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Retire

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to apartheid in South Africa, said he will withdraw from public life after his 79th birthday on Oct. 7.

“The time has now come to slow down,” Tutu said in a statement distributed from Cape Town today. “Existing diary appointments will be honored, but no new appointments will be added to my schedule.”

As South Africa’s first black Anglican bishop, Tutu used his international profile to advocate sanctions against the all- white government, which relinquished power after elections in 1994. He retired as archbishop of Cape Town in 1996 to lead the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body that aimed to expose the injustices of the past.