Madeleine Albright, the first woman to be appointed secretary of state in the US, has died. The 84-year-old passed away on March 23, 2022 after a battle with cancer.
“We are heartbroken to announce that Dr Madeleine Albright, the 64th US secretary of state and the first woman to hold that position, passed away earlier today,” tweeted Albright's family on her official Twitter account. “She was surrounded by family and friends. We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.”
The loss of this tough-talking diplomat and powerful feminist is certainly one that will be felt considering her great political and social contributions.
Albright, who was born in Smichhov, Prague, escaped to London after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. After the war, her family returned to Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, her family was forced to flee again when the Communists took over. They were later given political asylum in Denver, Colorado.
At the age of 20, Albright became an American citizen in 1957. She graduated from Wellesley College and later got her master’s degree and PhD in public law and government from Columbia University.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Albright to be ambassador to the United Nations. She was then nominated to be the first woman US secretary of state in 1996.
Albright was devoted to her goal of advancing peace in the Middle East and advocated for human rights fervently. Her work was so significant that in 2012 President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.
Considering her work and her impact, we revisit some of Albright’s most inspiring and iconic quotes.
On gaining a voice of power
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”