Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state in the United States, has died aged 84.
Albright’s family said in a statement that Albright died on Wednesday. She had been diagnosed with cancer.
“She was surrounded by family and friends,” her family announced on Twitter.
“We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.”
Born in Prague in what is now the Czech Republic, Albright emigrated to the United States as a child. She served as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, the 64th in the nation’s history, from 1997 until the end of Clinton’s second term.
Albright succeeded Warren Christopher as Secretary of State, after serving the Clinton administration as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012, among other honors.
Albright has remained outspoken over the years. After leaving office, she criticized President George W. Bush for using ‘clash of force’ rather than alliances to foster diplomacy and said Bush drove out moderate Arab leaders and created potential for disruption dangerous with the European allies.
More recently, she wrote an op-ed piece published in The New York Times last month, calling Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine a “historic mistake” and recalling her first impression of Russian President Vladimir Putin after having met her in 2000 as “so cold she’s almost reptilian.”
“Mr. Putin forged his path by abandoning democratic development for [Joseph] Stalin’s playbook,” Albright wrote.
She often appeared as a guest to offer commentary on world events, including CBC News.
“When I was in power, we had no better relationship than the one with Canada,” she told CBC. power and politics in 2018.
“We are close in every way and I particularly enjoyed working with then Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy.”
She has also written several books related to both her life and career as well as geopolitical developments, most recently with the 2020s. Hell and Other Destinations: Memoirs of the 21st Century.