Madeleine Albright, the first female US Secretary of State, has died at the age of 84 following a battle with cancer.
Her family confirmed the news of her passing on Twitter on Wednesday.
— Madeleine Albright (@madeleine) March 23, 2022
“We are heartbroken to announce that Dr. Madeleine K. Albright, the 64th U.S. Secretary of State and the first woman to hold that position, passed away earlier today. The cause was cancer,” the statement read. “She was surrounded by family and friends. We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.”
Albright was an important figure in President Bill Clinton’s administration, first serving as US ambassador to the United Nations, later becoming Secretary of State in his second term.
Bill and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, shared their condolences with a statement on Twitter, saying she was one of the “finest Secretaries of State.”
“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,” the statement read in part.
My statement on the passing of Madeleine Albright—one of the finest Secretaries of State, an outstanding UN Ambassador, a brilliant professor, and an extraordinary human being. pic.twitter.com/50QXFhzGit
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) March 23, 2022
The pair went on to praise the work she did for the word and reflected on what her friendship meant to them.
“Hillary and I will always be deeply grateful for the wonderful friendship we shared and the unfailing wise counsel she gave us over so many years,” they said.
Former President George W. Bush also gave tribute on his website.
“Laura and I are heartbroken by the news of Madeleine Albright’s death. She lived out the American dream and helped others realize it… She served with distinction as a foreign-born foreign minister who understood firsthand the importance of free societies for peace in our world.”
“Laura and I are heartbroken by the news of Madeleine Albright’s death. She lived out the American dream and helped others realize it.” —President George W. Bush
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) March 23, 2022
Albright was born in Prague in 1937. Her family fled to England when she was two years old to escape the Nazis during World War II. Eventually they settled in Denver in 1984. She became a US citizen in 1957 and graduated from Wellesley College. She went on to earn her doctorate in public law and government at Columbia University.
In 2012, President Barack Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. During the ceremony he said she was an inspiration to all Americans.
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