Kofi Annan, who has died aged 80. Joel Saget-AFP-Getty Images
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Key dates in the life of former UN chief and Nobel peace laureate Kofi Annan, the first black man to head the world body.

April 8, 1938: Born in the Ghanaian city of Kumasi to an aristocratic family from the Fante tribe.

1962: After studying economics in Geneva he joined the World Health Organization and went to work in a number of other UN bodies including the UN refugee agency.

1972: Annan obtained a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

1993-96: He served deputy head of UN peacekeeping, during the Rwandan genocide and the war in Bosnia.

January 1, 1997: He became UN secretary general, the first from within the organisation and the first from sub-Saharan Africa. He was re-elected for a second five-year term in June 2001.

October 12, 2001: Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2005: He became embroiled in a corruption scandal over the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

2007: He became a founding member of The Elders, a group of statesmen who speak out on global issues. He also set up the Kofi Annan Foundation which says it aims to promote better global governance and work for peace.

February 2012: Annan is chosen by the United Nations and the Arab League to mediate in the Syrian war, but he throws in the towel five moths later.

August 18, 2018: Annan dies in Switzerland after a short illness.

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