One of the World's Most Celebrated Diplomats Is Dead

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was 80
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 18, 2018 6:30 AM CDT
In this Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 file photo former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan speaks at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
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(Newser) – Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died. He was 80. His foundation announced his death in Switzerland on Saturday in a tweet, saying he died after a short unspecified illness. "Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy," the foundation said. Annan spent virtually his entire career as an administrator in the United Nations. His aristocratic style, cool-tempered elegance, and political savvy helped guide his ascent to become its seventh secretary-general, and the first hired from within, reports the AP. He served two terms from Jan. 1, 1997, to Dec. 31, 2006, capped nearly mid-way when he and the UN were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. Read on for more on Annan, his legacy, and the story of his name:

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