Saturday, September 30

Madeleine Albright, the first female US Secretary of State, has died

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to hold the post of US Secretary of State, has died this Wednesday at the age of 84, according to her family in a statement.

The family explained that Albright, Secretary of State between 1997 and 2001, died of cancer surrounded by her loved ones.

“We have lost a loving mother, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt and a friend,” said Albright’s family, who had three daughters with the North American press tycoon Joseph Albright, whom he later divorced, although kept his last name.

Albright was born Marie Jana Korbelova in 1937 in pre-World War II Prague, and it was soon after her father, a diplomat and academic, that the whole family went into exile in London. Once the world war ended, they returned to her country of origin to flee again shortly after the arrival of communism.

In 1948, at the age of eleven, Albright came to the United States and, after studying at the prestigious universities of Wellesley and Columbia, reached the forefront of American politics.

She worked for Democratic Senator Edmund Muskie and for Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser during the presidency of Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), and later became a professor at the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington.

With the arrival of Bill Clinton to the White House (1993-2001), Albright was appointed US ambassador to the United Nations, a position she held between 1993 and 1997, to later debut as the first woman to lead the State Department.

Albright became the face of US diplomacy after the Cold War and, as Secretary of State, advocated the expansion of NATO and defended the need to intervene in the Balkan wars, while at the same time opting to reduce the arsenals of nuclear weapons.

At the time of her death, the former Secretary of State was still a professor at Georgetown University and chaired the Albright Stonebridge Group, a powerful consulting group that she founded and where members of the government of current President Joe Biden have worked.