Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu talks during a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa, July 22, 2010. (AP Photo)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a “moral titan” who will be missed as he formally retires from public life Thursday on his 79th birthday. Obama says the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been a voice of principle, an unrelenting champion of justice and a dedicated peacemaker. Tutu played a pivotal role in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, the now-abolished system of white-minority rule. He also has advocated freedom and justice worldwide, supported gay rights and pushed for treatment programs to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Tutu announced this year that he would retire on his birthday, Oct. 7, to spend more time with his family.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.