Remembering Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Become Secretary of State of U.S.A. Part 2

Remembering Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Become Secretary of State of U.S.A. Part 2


by   Mike Allen                 March 24, 2022

  Great lives: Madeleine Albright, 84
In 1998, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright greets U.S. soldiers while visiting Air Base Eagle in Tuzla, Bosnia. Photo: Amel Emric/AP

Madeleine K. Albright, who died of cancer yesterday at 84, fled the Nazis as a child, then climbed to the summit of diplomacy and foreign policy in the U.S. — breaking the glass ceiling as the first female secretary of state, and setting the pace for other women to follow, AP’s Matt Lee writes.

·  President Bill Clinton said in announcing his historic choice for America’s top diplomat in 1996: “She has watched her world fall apart, and ever since, she has dedicated her life to spreading to the rest of the world the freedom and tolerance her family found here in America.”

In Gaza City in 1999, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright listens as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat talks to President Bill Clinton about a peace deal. Photo: Reuters

For decades, Albright was a popular professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where her “Modern Foreign Governments” was a required course and examined autocracies and the rise and fall of nation states, including in Ethiopia, the Czech Republic … and the Soviet Union.

·  The late AP Diplomatic Correspondent Barry Schweid contributed to this report.

World leaders react: “She became our voice.”

 CNN: Madeleine Albright’s life in pictures

Madeleine Albright’s life in pictures

Updated 4:41 PM ET, Wed March 23, 2022

Madeleine Albright, seen here in 1997, was the first woman to serve as US secretary of state.

Wally McNamee/Corbis/Getty Images

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, has died of cancer at the age of 84.

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. While in office, she championed NATO expansion and pushed for the alliance to intervene in the Balkans to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Throughout her retirement, Albright continued working for democracy around the world and speaking about US policy. Asked by USA Today in August 2020 how she defined courage, Albright replied that it is “when you stand up for what you believe in when it’s not always easy and you get criticized for it.”

A young Albright sits with her father, Josef Korbel, in this photo circa 1945. Korbel was a Czech diplomat, and the family escaped Czechoslovakia 10 days after the Nazi invasion.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Albright, center, works on the newspaper staff at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She graduated in 1959 and later received a master’s degree and a Ph.D from Columbia University.

Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images

In 1988, Albright worked as a senior foreign policy adviser for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. She also worked for Walter Mondale’s unsuccessful campaign in 1984. During the Jimmy Carter administration, she was a White House staff member and congressional liaison for the National Security Council under Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Diana Walker/Getty Images

Albright, as the US ambassador to the United Nations, casts a vote in 1993. She was confirmed shortly after the election of President Bill Clinton, who she also advised during his campaign.

Jon Levy/AFP/Getty Images

Albright presents a poster from the World Conference on Women as she meets with Myanmar political leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 1995.

Pornvilai Carr/AFP/Getty Images

Albright reaches out to a Burundian orphan while visiting the country in 1996.

Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Albright is sworn in as US secretary of state in 1997.

Wally McNamee/Sygma/Corbis via Getty Images

Albright looks over at North Korea during a visit to the border village of Panmunjom in 1997.


Albright puts on a jacket as she visits the US Naval Academy in 1997.

John Mummert/AP

Albright’s red outfit stands out in a sea of suits as she poses with other foreign ministers during a NATO meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1997.

Armando Franca/AP

Albright has lunch with US troops serving in Bosnia in 1997.

Elvis Barukcic/AP

Albright greets well-wishers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in 1997. She was the first US secretary of state to visit the city since the Vietnam War.

Richard Vogel/AP

Albright talks with a member of the FBI while visiting the site where a US embassy was bombed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1998.

Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Albright wipes away a tear as she and the Clintons attend a memorial ceremony for US citizens who were killed in an embassy bombing in Kenya in 1998.

Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images

Albright is interviewed by John F. Kennedy Jr. for George magazine in 1998. Kennedy co-founded the magazine.

David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Albright talks to US Brig. Gen. John Craddock, commander of the US troops that would be taking part in the Kosovo implementation force in 1999. Albright was crucial in pushing President Clinton to intervene in Kosovo to prevent a genocide against ethnic Muslims by former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Boris Grdanoski/AP

Albright testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1999. The committee was conducting hearings on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that the Senate would be voting on.

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

President Bill Clinton is surrounded by Albright and others in 2000 while signing bipartisan legislation normalizing trade relations with China.

Mark Wilson/Hulton Archive/Newsmakers/Getty Images

Albright prepares to testify before a House committee in 2000 about how Russian President Vladimir Putin rose to power.

Joyce Naltchayan/AFP/Getty Images

Albright shares a toast with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il at a dinner in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2000. Albright left office in 2001 after President Clinton’s second term ended.

Chien-Min Chung/AFP/Getty Images

Albright visits a polling station in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2007. She was heading a delegation of election observers from the US-based National Democratic Institute.

Felix Onigbinde/AP

Albright speaks to a guest at the unveiling of her official portrait in Washington, DC, in 2008.

Lawrence Jackson/AP

Albright and presidential candidate Barack Obama attend a roundtable discussion on foreign affairs in 2008.

Alex Brandon/AP

Albright visits with students in Chicago in 2012. The city was hosting a NATO summit the next month.

M. Spencer Green/AP

Albright helps plant a tree at a botanical garden in her native city of Prague, Czech Republic, in 2012.

Vit Simanek/CTK/AP

Obama presents Albright with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. “As the first woman to serve as America’s top diplomat, Madeleine’s courage and toughness helped bring peace to the Balkans and paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable corners of the world,” Obama said in his remarks.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Albright plays the drums while attending the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2012.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Albright, second from left, joins other secretaries of state at the groundbreaking ceremony for the US Diplomacy Center in 2014. From left are Hillary Clinton, Albright, Henry Kissinger, John Kerry, James Baker and Colin Powell.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Albright talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko at a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2014.

Mykola Lazarenko/AP

Albright shows off her sneakers with Olympic athlete Angela Ruggiero as they attended an alumni weekend at Wellesley College in 2014.

Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Albright was known for wearing brooches or decorative pins to convey her foreign policy messages. More than 200 of them were part of the “Read My Pins” collection.

Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Albright attends the Glamour Women of the Year awards in 2015. She was a past honoree.

Amy Lombard/The New York Times/Redux

Albright speaks at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Actor George Clooney embraces Albright at the United Nations headquarters in 2016. They were attending a Leaders Summit for Refugees.

Peter Foley/Pool/Getty Images

Albright attends the funeral for former US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2021.

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images


For more Information, please following the link:

Oprah Talks to Madeleine Albright

Oprah: We’ve all heard that on September 11 America was forever changed. What does that mean to you?

Madeleine: Americans have always felt pretty invulnerable here at home—until we were violated on our own territory in a way we have never been. In September more Americans died than on any other day in our history—and that has changed the way we look at things. In some ways we need to change. This attack was so awful that if we don’t change, the lives lost will be without vindication. I obviously can’t identify with what happened to those who lost their lives—but in a way I was in those buildings, you were in those buildings, every American was.

Oprah: That’s so true. When we last talked, you said you had seen unimaginable atrocities around the world. Have you ever seen anything like this?

Madeleine: Nobody has ever seen this kind of terrorism. I witnessed similar devastation when I visited our embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania [after the August 1998 bombings]. But there wasn’t the same loss of life. Through television we saw this tragedy in real time. While we were watching the first tower burn, all of a sudden the second plane goes through the other side—we’re watching it, and then we see the buildings come down. It was a visual horror that is unparalleled.

Oprah: I had to say out loud what I had seen, just so my brain could take it in.

Madeleine: What’s weird is that we’ve all probably seen movies like this and walked away thinking, “This couldn’t possibly happen.” So we’re left trying to get our minds around the fact that it’s not a horror show, it’s real life. I knew people in those buildings, so I felt a combination of every possible horrible feeling.

Oprah: How can we process the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty of not knowing what’s next?

Madeleine: I’m not sure—I’m still processing the magnitude of what happened myself. But we have to be determined that we won’t let this stop us. The balance I have struggled with is between having a normal day and knowing that there are people wandering the streets of New York holding photographs and signs that read HAVE YOU SEEN MY HUSBAND?

Oprah: Yes. With every show I taped right after the tragedy, I thought, “How can I do this while they’re still rescuing people?”

Madeleine: I even feel awful having conversations about other matters. And yet I know that if we don’t continue getting back to normal, the terrorists will have won. It’s important that we invest in America—literally. The terrorists wanted to destroy our economy, and we can’t let our system fall apart. We also have to invest in one another. As I listen to the stories of those grieving, I know we’re all grieving with them. We have to go through that entire grief process.

For more information, please visit the following link: Madeleine Albright – Book that made a difference

Hooked on Epics

A list that includes even an ex-president’s favorite? Learn how epic histories keep former secretary of state Madeleine Albright in the know.

After doing plenty of academic writing over the years, I’m now working on my autobiography. The plot is somewhat complicated: I was born in Czechoslovakia, which was invaded by Hitler and taken over by the Communists. My family came to the United States in search of freedom. I was married, raised three children, divorced, and worked hard enough to end up in a pretty good job.

The most difficult part in writing about all this is deciding what to leave out; there are so many good stories. It’s also totally counterintuitive for me to write about myself. All my life, I’ve been taught not to be self-centered. As a result, I’m having a little trouble describing the main character. But it has been fascinating to look back, and I hope it will be interesting for others, as well. In many ways, my experiences have paralleled those of millions of women of my generation, in juggling the personal and the professional. As secretary of state, I experienced a lot of pressure, but also many moments of excitement and reward, and I have memories of people in Washington and around the world that shared both the high points and the low with me. I have received a lot of advice about how to write the book, which I have appreciated. But it wouldn’t seem right to tell the story of my life except in my own words and style, which is exactly what I intend to do.

Madeleine Albright’s autobiography will be published this fall.

What’s on Madeleine Albright’s Bookshelf? Read more!

For more information, please visit the following link:

Great Moments in Mothering

Photo: Courtesy of Madeleine Albright


Learning to Fly
by Madeleine Albright

My mother was hyperprotective—she hovered over me. In 1947 I was 10 years old, and we lived in Yugoslavia, where my father was the Czech ambassador. I had a governess who gave me lessons, and I would play with the children of other diplomats. It was a pretty limited life. We’d moved around a lot, so I couldn’t go to the regular school until the next year; I’d gotten ahead of myself. So my mother and father made the decision to send me away from our very close, loving family to a Swiss boarding school, and it was up to my mother to take me there.

I was a very serious child, and obedient. (I always thought when I wrote my memoir I would start with “I was born an adult.”) But I did not want to go. How would I manage? I didn’t speak a word of French. My way of resisting was to develop a rash. I don’t know whether it was psychosomatic or a genuine rash. But my mother, who was unexpectedly resolute, said, “We’re going.” On the flight to Zurich, I was crying so much that my mother’s whole arm was wet. Next morning in Zurich I told her, “I can’t move my legs.” Oh, she said, “Zurich is a center for polio research—we’ll find a doctor.” All of a sudden I could get out of bed.

My mother took me to that school and, overprotective though she was, made me go. And it was one of the most important years of my life. My first problem at the school was that in order to eat, you had to speak French. And you needed French to participate in class. So the early weeks were hard. In those days, you didn’t call your family every five minutes, and there was no e-mail. I didn’t even go home for Christmas. But in the end, I conquered the situation. I learned French, I learned to ski, I learned to be in a place that I wasn’t at all comfortable in, and I had to make it comfortable for myself. I learned to be independent. That year has stood me in good stead forever. And I grew to love it there.

I have three daughters now, and I remember nights when I lay in bed paralyzed with unreasonable fear over where they were. I think the hardest thing for a mother is to make it possible for a child to be independent and at the same time let the child know how much you love her, how much you want to take care of her, and yet how truly essential it is for her to fly on her own. It’s definitely the “pushing out of the nest syndrome.”

I think of my own mother, knowing what I know now. How difficult this must have been for her. She died in 1989. Without her, it sometimes feels as if there’s nothing between me and the sky, but then her lesson always shows itself. It is nothing short of a wonder that she sent me away. But she knew to do it.

Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as Secretary of State for the United States. She is the author of Madam Secretary (2003), The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006) and Read My Pins (2009).

For more information, please visit the following link:

The Challenge of Being a Working Mom, Madeleine Albright | MAKERS

May 18, 2012  MAKERS

Albright and her daughters know there’s no one answer for working moms. Born in prewar Prague, Albright’s earliest years were defined by her family’s political flight—first from Hitler and, after 1948, from Czechoslovakia’s Communist government. Albright was a Wellesley alumna, a naturalized citizen, and had worked as a journalist by the time she became a mother for the first time in 1960. She served as Ambassador to the UN for President Clinton’s first term and was appointed Secretary of State at the start of his second term, thereby becoming the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.

Madeleine Albright’s Pin Collection

Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright wore pins to convey how she felt without saying a word. “The first President Bush had been known for saying ‘Read my lips,’” she says. “I began urging colleagues to ‘Read my pins.’”

The Dove Pin

Madeleine Albright was given this pin as a gift from the widow of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was slain because of his support for peace. She wore the dove pin while speaking about Middle East peace negotiations to convey the need for ending violence and to encourage reconciliation between historic rivals in Israel.

The Eagle Pin

Albright decided to wear this pin showing a gold eagle with widespread wings for her swearing-in ceremony—but later would come to regret it!

“What I failed to notice was that the clasp was not only old but complicated: Fastening it was a multistep process that I neglected to complete. All went well until I had one hand on the Bible and the other in the air.

“Then, I looked down and saw that my beautiful pin was dangling sideways. With all the commotion, I had no time to fix the problem until after the photographers had done their work, showing me standing next to the president with an eagle that had forgotten how to fly.”

The Katrina Pin

This beautiful flower pin composed of amethysts and diamonds was given to Albright by a young man whose mother died as a result of Hurricane Katrina. “I wear it as a reminder that jewelry’s greatest value comes not from precious stones or brilliant designs, but from the emotions we invest,” she says.

The Ladybug Pin

Not all of Albright’s pins had a serious message. When she wore pins like these ladybugs or a butterfly, the other foreign ministers would know she was in a good mood.

The Lion Pin

During four years of Middle East peace negotiations, Dr. Albright would wear this lion pin to encourage bravery.

The Serpent Pin

The serpent pin is the brooch that started it all. Albright served as America’s ambassador to the United Nations in President Bill Clinton’s first term. When she criticized Saddam Hussein for refusing to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors, Iraq’s government-controlled press responded angrily, publishing a poem that denounced her as an “unparalleled serpent.”

Soon after, Albright was scheduled to meet in New York with Iraqi officials. She decided to wear a pin in the shape of a serpent, thereby sending the message: “Don’t tread on me.” From that day forward, pins served as a way for Albright to communicate ideas and feelings without even saying a word.

Watch Albright describe the secret meaning behind her pins

Learn more about her book Read My Pins

Published 10/09/2009

For more information, please visit the following link:

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