Former US Secretary of State Albright dies aged 84

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Albright at the University of Texas at Austin on April 9, 2019.
Image: LBJ Library.

Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was announced to have died at the age of 84 from cancer in a statement released by her family on Wednesday.

Albright was the first female US Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. Before that, she was the US Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997.

Current President Joe Biden ordered flags at the White House and all federal buildings to be flown at half mast. He said he "will always remember [Albright's] fervent faith that 'America is the indispensable nation.'" Biden further added: "As the world redefined itself in the wake of the Cold War, we were partners and friends working to welcome newly liberated democracies."

Bill and Hillary Clinton said in a joint statement: "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."

Former President George W. Bush said she "understood first-hand the importance of free societies for peace in our world."

Albright was born Marie Jana Korbelová in 1937 in Prague, which was then part of the First Czechoslovak Republic. Her family went into exile in 1939 after the country was occupied by Nazi Germany, arriving in the United States in 1948.


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