Madeleine Albright, 1st female US secretary of state, dies

Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State in the U.S., and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government at the time. She died Wednesday of cancer.

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National News

March 24, 2022 - 12:57 PM

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delivers remarks during the ceremonial groundbreaking of the future U.S. Diplomacy Center at the State Department's Harry S. Truman Building Sept. 3, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Albright, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state, died Wednesday, March 23, 3022. She was 84. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Madeleine Albright, a child refugee from Nazi- and then Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe who rose to become the first female secretary of state and a mentor to many current and former American statesmen and women, died Wednesday of cancer, her family said. She was 84.

A lifelong Democrat who nonetheless worked to bring Republicans into her orbit, Albright was chosen in 1996 by President Bill Clinton to be America’s top diplomat, elevating her from U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, where she had been only the second woman to hold that job.

As secretary of state, Albright was the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. She was not in the line of succession to the presidency, however, because she was born in what was then Czechoslovakia. Still, she was universally admired for breaking a glass ceiling, even by her political detractors.

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