Madeleine Albright, first female US Secretary of State, sadly dies at 84

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright, the first female US Secretary of State, has sadly died at the age of 84.

Her family confirmed her death from cancer in a statement, saying “she was surrounded by family and friends. We lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.”

Born in Czechoslovakia, Madeleine’s family emigrated to the US in 1948, where Madeleine would eventually become the first female Secretary of State and in her later years, a feminist icon and author. 

The mother of three served under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, where she influenced American foreign policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Middle East. She called for the expansion of NATO, and pushed for it to intervene in the Balkans to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing. She sought to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, and championed human rights and democracy across the globe.

Paying tribute to her in a statement, former President Bill Clinton said, “Hillary and I are profoundly saddened by the passing of Madeleine Albright.”

“She was one of the finest Secretaries of State, an outstanding UN Ambassador, a brilliant professor, and an extraordinary human being.”

“Few leaders have been so perfectly suited for the times in which they served.”

“As a child in war-torn Europe, Madeleine and her family were twice forced to flee their home.”

“When the end of the Cold War ushered in a new era of global interdependence, she became America’s voice at the UN, then took the helm at the State Department, where she was a passionate force for freedom, democracy, and human rights.”

“Madeleine’s passing is an immense loss to the world in a time when we need the lessons of her life the most, but we know her legacy will live on through all the students she taught so well at Georgetown.”

In tribute to Madeleine, flags be flown at half-staff at the White House and government buildings, including embassies, until 27 March. 

There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright | 1937 – 2022

Born Marie Jana Korbelova, Madeleine was born in 1937 in Prague, in what was then known as Czechoslovakia.

Her family fled to Britain in 1939 to avoid Nazi persecution. After the war, the family left London and returned to Czechoslovakia, then in the throes of a communist takeover.

Her father, a diplomat and academic who opposed communism, moved the family to the United States where he taught international studies at the University of Denver. 

Madeleine became a US citizen in 1957 and went on to graduate from Wellesley College and earned a PhD from Columbia University in 1975.

She went on to work as an aide to Senator Edmund Muskie before taking a position at the National Security Council. She served in that position until 1981, when President Jimmy Carter left office.

After leaving the National Security Council, Albright joined the faculty of Georgetown University and advised Democratic candidates regarding foreign policy. After Bill Clinton’s victory in the 1992 presidential election, Albright helped assemble his National Security Council. In 1993, Clinton appointed her to the position of US Ambassador to the United Nations. She held that position until 1997, when she became Secretary of State, serving in that role until Clinton left office in 2001. 

Paying tribute to her in a statement, former President Bill Clinton said, “Hillary and I are profoundly saddened by the passing of Madeleine Albright.”

“She was one of the finest Secretaries of State, an outstanding UN Ambassador, a brilliant professor, and an extraordinary human being.”

“Few leaders have been so perfectly suited for the times in which they served.”

 

“As a child in war-torn Europe, Madeleine and her family were twice forced to flee their home.”

“When the end of the Cold War ushered in a new era of global interdependence, she became America’s voice at the UN, then took the helm at the State Department, where she was a passionate force for freedom, democracy, and human rights.”

“Madeleine’s passing is an immense loss to the world in a time when we need the lessons of her life the most, but we know her legacy will live on through all the students she taught so well at Georgetown.”

In tribute to Madeleine, flags be flown at half-staff at the White House and government buildings, including embassies, until 27 March. 

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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