Former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has died at age 80, his foundation confirmed Saturday.
Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff.
He had been a member of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela, since it was founded in 2007. In 2013, Annan became its chairman.
Annan passed away peacefully Saturday morning after a short illness, with his wife Nane and their three children by his side during his final days, it said.
It paid tribute to Annan as a "global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer, more peaceful world."
"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."
Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations in 2001 "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world."