Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan died Saturday after a brief illness, his family reported via his personal foundation. He was 80 years old. Born in Ghana in 1938, Annan began work at the U.N. in 1962, rising through the ranks to serve as secretary general from 1997 to 2006. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the U.N. in 2001. Current U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Annan "provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving, and a path to a better world." Annan is survived by his wife and three children.

Scroll for 5 things you
need to know now