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April 04, 2013

Desmond Tutu Wins Prestigious Templeton Prize

by VOA News

Anti-apartheid champion Desmond Tutu has won this year's Templeton prize for his life-long work in promoting "love and forgiveness."

The 81-year-old Tutu was a vocal opponent of white-minority rule in South Africa in the 1980s and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for challenging the apartheid government and the injustices allowed under the race-based system.

John Templeton, Jr., of the Templeton Foundation, says Tutu calls upon all of us to "embrace our own vast potential to be agents for spiritual progress and positive change."

Tutu will receive the $1.7 million prize at a ceremony in London on May 21.

The award is given each year to a living person who, in the words of the foundation, "has made exceptional contributions to affirming life's spiritual dimension."

It was created in 1972 by mutual funds tycoon John Templeton.

Mother Teresa was the first recipient of the Templeton award in 1973.

Last year's prize was awarded to the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.