Madeleine Albright, the very first lady to serve as the U.S. secretary of point out, died Wednesday, her spouse and children mentioned in a assertion.
She was 84.
Albright died of cancer, her loved ones reported, adding that she was “surrounded by spouse and children and close friends” at the time.
“We have shed a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and mate,” the assertion reported, as very well as a “tireless winner of democracy and human rights.”
President Joe Biden remembered Albright as “a drive for goodness, grace, and decency—and for independence.” She “defied conference and broke boundaries once more and all over again,” Biden explained in a assertion.
He requested flags to be flown at 50 percent-mast in her honor right up until March 27.
Then-President Invoice Clinton named Albright the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations soon soon after he was inaugurated in 1993, and nominated her as the secretary of point out a few years afterwards. She was confirmed in 1997 by a vote of 99-. At the time, she was the maximum-position female in the heritage of the U.S. government.
Albright served in the post for 4 years, actively endorsing the growth of NATO and military services intervention in Kosovo.
On Wednesday, Clinton remembered Albright as “an extraordinary human getting.”
“Simply because she understood firsthand that America’s policy decisions had the power to make a variance in people’s lives all-around the entire world, she noticed her employment as both an obligation and an opportunity. And she designed the most of them in advancing peace, protection and shared prosperity,” the previous president said, incorporating he final spoke to Albright two months in the past.
“She by no means dropped her terrific perception of humor or her dedication to go out with her boots on, supporting Ukraine in its combat to protect liberty and democracy,” Clinton mentioned.
Hillary Clinton, who turned the country’s third woman secretary of condition, said she and her partner would “often be deeply grateful for the wonderful friendship” they shared with Albright and “the unfailingly wise counsel she gave us around so a lot of several years.”
“So a lot of individuals about the earth are alive and residing improved life since of her company,” Hillary Clinton said.
Albright was born May perhaps 15, 1937, in Prague, wherever her father was a diplomat, and her relatives fled Czechoslovakia when she was 2 many years outdated to escape the Nazis.
They initially moved to England, before settling in Denver in 1948. Albright became a U.S. citizen in 1957, and graduated from Wellesley College. She later gained her doctorate in community law and governing administration at Columbia University.
In 1976, she went to do the job as a legislative assistant for Democratic Sen. Edmund Muskie, who went on to come to be the secretary of state. She joined the staff members of the Countrywide Safety Council two many years afterwards, for the duration of the Carter administration.
It was not until 1997, soon after she’d become the secretary of state, that Albright identified out from a Washington Put up reporter that she was of Jewish descent. She had been lifted Roman Catholic, and was “shocked” when reporter Michael Dobbs’ analysis showed that “3 of my grandparents and quite a few other loved ones associates experienced died in the Holocaust,” Albright advised Politico in 2012.
“I was stunned and, to be honest, embarrassed to explore that I had not identified my spouse and children record far better,” she wrote in her book “Prague Winter season.”
Soon after leaving community office environment, Albright went on to educate at Georgetown University’s School of International Company and grew to become a prolific writer, composing 7 New York Times bestsellers.
In 2012, then-President Barack Obama awarded Albright the Medal of Flexibility, the country’s best civilian honor.
In a statement Wednesday, Obama praised Albright’s “trailblazing career,” and said she had “paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable parts of the entire world.”
“I in no way thought that I would have the sort of daily life I’ve experienced,” Albright informed Elle journal in a 2020 interview. Asked about her finest occupation experience, she mentioned, “Being Secretary of Condition and sitting powering the indication that reported the United States, especially since I was not born here, and I am a really grateful American.”
Remembrances poured in Wednesday from other politicians, on both equally sides of the aisle.
Previous President George W. Bush stated he was “heartbroken” to hear of Albright’s dying.
“She served with distinction as a foreign-born international minister who comprehended firsthand the worth of totally free societies for peace in our environment,” he stated in a assertion that was accompanied by a painting he’d carried out of Albright.
Condoleezza Rice, who became the next woman secretary of state in 2004, claimed she was “definitely saddened” by Albright’s dying, calling her an “a must have colleague and a pretty dear mate.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Rice famous that she and Albright had something else in popular in addition to serving as the nation’s best diplomat.
“When I was learning tunes at the University of Denver, I took a course on international politics from a professor who transformed the training course of my lifetime. That professor was Madeleine’s father, Josef Korbel. How amazing that two woman secretaries of point out, from reverse sides of the political spectrum would be affected by the similar guy,” Rice reported.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Albright had “mentored a technology of diplomats and national safety industry experts. I’m a single of lots of who benefited from her knowledge and encouragement.”
“To our extremely to start with Madam Secretary — thank you,” Blinken reported Wednesday.
Donna Shalala, who served in the Clinton administration with Albright as well being and human solutions secretary, called her pal and former colleague, who was 4’10”, “small in stature” but “a big in entire world affairs. She broke boundaries and fought for human legal rights and peace.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted a statement calling her “a function design for women of all ages in community business office & foreign service.”
Albright is survived by a few daughters and 6 grandchildren, as properly as a brother and a sister.