Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, died on Wednesday at the age of 84.
Albright’s family confirmed her death in a statement, saying the longtime diplomat had died of cancer. At the time of her death, Albright, who served as secretary of state from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton administration, was a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Born Marie Jana Korbelova in Prague in 1937, Albright moved to the US as a refugee in 1948. She graduated from Wellesley College and earned a PhD from Columbia University before entering public service.
She worked in the Carter administration under then national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, and later joined the faculty at Georgetown before serving as a foreign policy adviser to several Democratic politicians.
In 1993, Bill Clinton appointed her ambassador to the UN. She held that role until Clinton selected her to be America’s top diplomat, a job she had for the last four years of his administration.