Madeleine Albright, first female US secretary of state, dies at 84
She died of cancer, her family said, adding that she was "surrounded by family and friends" at the time.
In 1997, following Bill Clinton's reelection as US president, Albright was sworn in as the country's first female secretary of state. By then Albright, a political science professor, had already made a name for herself as a foreign policy adviser to several Democratic presidential candidates — including Clinton. In 1993, during his first term in office, Clinton had made Albright the US ambassador to the UN.
During her first year as the top US diplomat, Albright — who spoke Czech, English, French, Russian, Serbian and Polish — set a record for foreign visits, with 98, only beaten by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012, with 102. Most Europeans welcomed her nomination, expecting her to show a special interest in the countries of central and eastern Europe as well as former Soviet republics.