|Kofi Atta Annan|
|7th Secretary-General of the United Nations|
1 January 1997 – 1 January 2007
|Preceded by||Boutros Boutros-Ghali|
|Succeeded by||Ban Ki-moon|
|Born||8 April 1938
|Spouse(s)||Titi Alakija (div.)
Nane Maria Annan
Early life[change | edit source]
Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, to an elite family. His parents, Henry Reginald and Victoria Annan, are from the two major ethnic groups that make up the Akan – one of the groups of indigenous people of Ghana.
His father was half Asante and half Fante; his mother was Fante. The Asante were gold merchants while the Fante tribe were the middlemen in the gold trade between the Asante and the British.
Annan, whose first name means "born on a Friday", also had a twin sister, who died in 1991 from a still yet unknown disease. In Ghanaian culture, twins are considered special and are adored.
Annan probably got his first lessons in politics and diplomacy early on from his family. Both of Annan's grandfathers and his uncle were tribal chiefs. Upon his retirement, Annan's father, who worked as an export manager for the cocoa exporter Lever Brothers, was elected governor of Ghana's Asante province.
Education[change | edit source]
In 1954, Annan attended Mfantsipim School, an Methodist boarding school in central Ghana. The Secretary-General says that the school taught him "that suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere".
Annan went to Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minnesota and graduating in 1961. He was a Sloan Fellow at MIT in 1971–72, getting a master's degree in management.
His work at the United Nations[change | edit source]
Annan became Secretary-General of the United Nations in January 1997, succeeding Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt. Annan was a U.N. veteran who took his first job with the organization in 1962 and worked his way up through various posts including Deputy Director to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (1980–83) and head of the U.N.'s peacekeeping efforts (1995–96). Annan was the first Secretary-General chosen from the ranks of the U.N.'s staff. He is also the first black man to hold the post and the second African (after Boutros-Ghali). His second term began in 2002 and ran through the end of 2006.
Personal life[change | edit source]
Annan is married to Nane Annan, a lawyer and artist from Sweden.
References[change | edit source]