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You are here News International Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Dies at 80

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Dies at 80

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Former UN Secretary General dies at 89Kofi 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’s capital, Bern, on Saturday in a tweet , saying he died after a short unspecified illness. It did not give details and remembered the Nobel Peace Prize winner as “radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”

The president of Ghana, where Annan was born, said in a tweet that “I am ... comforted by the information, after speaking to (Annan’s wife) Nane Maria, that he died peacefully in his sleep.”

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. He served two terms from Jan. 1, 1997, to Dec. 31, 2006, capped nearly mid-way when he and the U.N. were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

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