The first female United States (US) Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has died of cancer, age 84.
The groundbreaking diplomat served as the 64th US Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton
In a statement, Albright’s family confirmed her passing while paying tribute to “a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend.”
“We are heartbroken to announce that Dr. Madeleine K. Albright, the 64th US 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.”
— Madeleine Albright (@madeleine) March 23, 2022
Albright’s commitment to public service was celebrated by several political figures following her passing.
Former US President Barack Obama posted a tribute to “a truly remarkable woman” on his Twitter page.
As the first woman to serve as America’s top diplomat, Madeleine Albright was a champion for democratic values. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Albright family and everyone who knew and served with a truly remarkable woman. pic.twitter.com/8jj3GYZXbB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 23, 2022
Fellow former Head of State George Bush issued a statement in which he expressed that “Laura and I are heartbroken by the news of Madeleine Albright’s death.”
“She lived out the American dream and helped others realize it,” the statement said.
British media personality Piers Morgan took to social media to honour the “trailblazing politician.”
RIP Madeleine Albright, 84. America’s first woman Secretary of State and a trailblazing politician who commanded respect everywhere she went. pic.twitter.com/MZzszoKNz6
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 23, 2022
Former US President Bill Clinton, who worked closely with Albright considered her “an extraordinary human being.”
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
Albright was born in 1937 in Prague and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1948.
Following Clinton’s victory in the 1992 presidential election, Albright helped assemble his National Security Council. In 1993, Clinton appointed her to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position she held until 1996 when she made history as the first female Secretary of State. Albright served in the top role until Clinton left office in 2001. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Albright is survived by her three daughters.