Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, died at his home on Saturday, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced on Saturday. He was 80.
The Ghanaian-born Annan served as the seventh UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006 and was the first Black African to lead the UN in its history, according to CNN.
He also was the first to hold the position after working his way up the UN staff, first joining the organization in 1962 through the World Health Organization, per Vox.
“Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world,” his foundation said in a statement. “During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations, he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.”
It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness… pic.twitter.com/NDOy2NmAAs
— Kofi Annan Foundation (@KofiAnnanFdn) August 18, 2018
Annan was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his “work for a better organized and more peaceful world,” according to the Nobel Organization.
Following his tenure as UN chief, Annan joined the humanitarian group called The Elders, created by Nelson Mandela. He became chairman of the organization in 2013.
Current UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid tribute to Annan on Twitter early Saturday.
“Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all,” Guterres wrote.
Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all. https://t.co/psJ9viPIeu pic.twitter.com/SKfBk5zaY2
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 18, 2018
Annan is survived by his wife, Nane Lagergren, and three kids, Nina, Ama, and Kojo, who were with him when he passed away.