Madeleine Albright, First Female Secretary of State, Dead at 84 - Rolling Stone
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Madeleine Albright, First Woman Secretary of State, Dead at 84

“The cause was cancer. She was surrounded by family and friends. We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend,” a statement released by her family read

Madeleine AlbrightMadeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright promotes "Read My Pins" at the Museum of Art and Design on December 14, 2009 in New York City.

Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Madeleine Albright, the first woman secretary of state, died on Wednesday at the age of 84.

Her family announced her death in a statement. “We are heartbroken to announced 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 statement read. “The cause was cancer. She was surrounded by family and friends. We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.”

Albright served as President Bill Clinton’s chief delegate to the United Nations before he nominated her for secretary of state, a position she held from 1997 to 2001. “As secretary, I will do my best to talk about foreign policy not in abstract terms, but in human terms and bipartisan terms,” she said in a speech delivered shortly after assuming the role. “I consider this vital because in our democracy, we cannot pursue policies abroad that are not understood and supported here at home.”

Bill and Hillary Clinton released a joint statement Wednesday afternoon. “Few leaders have been so perfectly suited for the time in which they served,” they wrote, noting that Albright’s upbringing in Europe allowed her to see that “America’s policy decisions had the power to make a difference in people’s lives around the world.”

“So many people around the world are alive and living better lives because of her service,” Hillary, who served as secretary of state under President Obama, added in a tweet.

The Biden administration weighed in shortly after Albright’s death was announced. “The impact she has had on this building is felt every single day in just about every single corridor,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. He added that current Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and others in the State Department considered Albright a mentor. “She was a trailblazer as the first female secretary of state, and quite literally opened doors for a large element of our workforce,” Price continued.


The White House has ordered flags to be flown at half mast in honor of Albright’s death.

In This Article: Madeleine Albright, obit, Obituary


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