Remembering Madeleine Albright

“Madeleine Albright, the first female US secretary of state and who helped steer Western foreign policy in the aftermath of the Cold War, has died. She was 84 years old. The cause was cancer, Albright’s family said in a statement Wednesday.

Madeleine Albright, the 64th Secretary of State, was the first female to hold the office and is the highest ranking female government official in the history of the United States. (Photo by ?? Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Albright was a central figure in President Bill Clinton’s administration, first serving as US ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the nation’s top diplomat in his second term. She championed the expansion of NATO, pushed for the alliance to intervene in the Balkans to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing, sought to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, and championed human rights and democracy across the globe.” (CNN)

Albright’s funeral was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. yesterday where family, friends and colleagues from around the globe who gathered member her. I was especially taken by Hillary Clinton’s remembrances. Clinton, who also served as secretary of state, shared very personal memories with Albright.

“She was irrepressible, wickedly funny, very stylish and always ready for a laugh,” Clinton, 74, said from the podium of Albright, who was fond of dancing. “She brought the same energy to her friendships as she did to her diplomacy,” Clinton continued.

Clinton revealed her influence on her husband, former President Bill Clinton — who also spoke at Wednesday’s service — in the years before he nominated Albright first as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and later as secretary of state. “It’s been said that I urged my husband to nominate her,” Secretary Clinton said. “Unlike much that’s said, this story is true. And I was thrilled when he agreed.”

Secretary Clinton praised her friend’s service to the country as well as to the students she taught at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and to women and girls around the world through her leadership, including Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea.

“She didn’t just help other women, she spent her entire life counseling and cajoling, inspiring and lifting up so many of us who are here today,” Secretary Clinton said. “So, the angels better be wearing their best pins and putting on their dancing shoes because if, as Madeline believed, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women, they haven’t seen anyone like her yet.”

Also, a propos to this week’s Holocaust and Resistance Commemoration, it was not until after she became secretary of state that she accepted proof that, as she had long suspected, her ethnic and religious background was not what she had thought. She learned that her family was Jewish and that her parents had protectively converted to Roman Catholicism during World War II, raising their children as Catholics without telling them of their Jewish heritage. She also discovered that 26 family members, including three grandparents, had been murdered in the Holocaust. (New York Times)


I wrote about Madeleine Albright a few years ago after purchasing and reading her book, Read My Pins, the pins Hillary Clinton refers to in her eulogy.  Here’s the link:


  1. Madeline Sharples says

    This is a test!

  2. Joyce Goldberg says

    I agree she was a remarkable woman. I wonder why the funeral was held over a month after she died?

  3. Wanda Maureen Miller (Mo) says

    Hillary’s comments were my favorites also. Mo

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