Albert Luthuli

By Jon Donahue

Early Life

  • Born around 1898 in Solusi Mission (Later to be Southwestern Zimbabwe)
  • His Grandfather was the second Chief of Groutville
  • lived at a Seventh-Day Adventist mission near Vryheid in today's northern Natal.
  • Later sent to Groutville to be educated by his uncle, Chief Martin Luthuli
  • Eventually converted to Christianity
  • 1917, became elementary school teacher, then attended Adams College to become a higher level teacher, and taught at Adams College for 15 years
  • After teaching, Luthuli became Chief of Groutville
  • Married a teacher named Nokukhanya Bhengu and had 2 sons and 5 daughters

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Accomplishments in the ANC

  • Joined ANC in 1944 and was elected ANC's president in 1952 for 15 years
  • Considered one of the most influential black South African to the whites
  • First African to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1961

  • Very active, even though he was shut down by the government with bans and arrests.

  • Participated with his followers in strikes, protests, and stay-at-homes.

Luthuli's Significance

Albert Luthuli was a significant leader for the ANC, as he was one of the most active and influential of the organization. He took his place as president at a time of crisis, since the previous leader, James Moroka, failed to participate in a crucial event for the ANC, the Defiance Campaign. Luthuli was practically the opposite of Moroka, for Luthuli challenged the government with his followers. The government banned Luthuli and arrested him for treason, but still remained influential as more white supporters were attracted to the ANC. Luthuli had a huge impact on the ANC's success, meaning he had a significant impact on the apartheid laws as well.
Albert Luthuli Nobel Peace Prize Archive Footage

Work Cited

Albert John Luthuli." African Biography. Gale, 1999. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.


"Albert John Luthuli." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 15 Nov.