Remembering Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Become Secretary of State of U.S.A. Part 1
Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937 – March 23, 2022) was an American diplomat and political scientist who served as the 64th United States secretary of state in the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001. A member of the Democratic Party, Albright was the first woman to hold the post.
Albright immigrated with her family to the United States in 1948 from Communist Czechoslovakia. Her father, diplomat Josef Korbel, settled the family in Denver, Colorado, and she became a U.S. citizen in 1957. Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959 and earned a PhD from Columbia University in 1975, writing her thesis on the Prague Spring. She worked as an aide to Senator Edmund Muskie before taking a position under Zbigniew Brzezinski on the National Security Council. She served in that position until 1981, when President Jimmy Carter left office.
After leaving the National Security Council, Albright joined the academic faculty of Georgetown University and advised Democratic candidates regarding foreign policy. After Bill Clinton‘s victory in the 1992 presidential election, Albright helped assemble his National Security Council.
President Clinton appointed her United States ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997, a position she held until elevation as secretary of state. Secretary Albright served in that capacity until Clinton left office in 2001.
Albright served as chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm, and was the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Early life and career
Albright was born Marie Jana Korbelová in 1937 in the Smíchov district of Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her parents were Josef Korbel, a Czech diplomat, and Anna Korbel (née Spieglová). At the time of Albright’s birth, Czechoslovakia had been independent for less than 20 years, having gained independence from Austria-Hungary after World War I. Her father was a supporter of Tomáš Masaryk and Edvard Beneš. Marie Jana had a younger sister Katherine and a younger brother John (these versions of their names are Anglicized).
When Marie Jana was born, her father was serving as a press-attaché at the Czechoslovak Embassy in Belgrade. The signing of the Munich Agreement in September 1938—and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia by Adolf Hitler‘s troops—forced the family into exile because of their links with Beneš.
Josef and Anna converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1941. Marie Jana and her siblings were raised in the Roman Catholic faith. In 1997, Albright said her parents never told her or her two siblings about their Jewish ancestry and heritage.
The family moved to Britain in May 1939. Here her father worked for Beneš’s Czechoslovak government-in-exile. Her family first lived on Kensington Park Road in Notting Hill, London—where they endured the worst of the Blitz—but later moved to Beaconsfield, then Walton-on-Thames, on the outskirts of London. They kept a large metal table in the house, which was intended to shelter the family from the recurring threat of German air raids. While in England, Marie Jana was one of the children shown in a documentary film designed to promote sympathy for war refugees in London.
After the defeat of the Nazis in the European theatre of World War II and the collapse of Nazi Germany and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Korbel family returned to Prague. Korbel was appointed as press attaché at Czechoslovakian Embassy in Yugoslavia, and the family moved to Belgrade—then part of Yugoslavia—which was governed by the Communist Party. Korbel was concerned his daughter would be exposed to Marxism in a Yugoslav school, and so she was taught privately by a governess before being sent to the Prealpina Institut pour Jeunes Filles finishing school in Chexbres, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. She learned to speak French while in Switzerland and changed her name from Marie Jana to Madeleine.
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over the government in 1948, with support from the Soviet Union. As an opponent of communism, Korbel was forced to resign from his position. He later obtained a position on a United Nations delegation to Kashmir. He sent his family to the United States, by way of London, to wait for him when he arrived to deliver his report to the UN Headquarters, then located in Lake Success, New York.
Madeleine Korbel spent her teen years in Denver and in 1955 graduated from the Kent Denver School in Cherry Hills Village, a suburb of Denver. She founded the school’s international relations club and was its first president. She attended Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on a full scholarship, majoring in political science, and graduated in 1959. The topic of her senior thesis was Zden?k Fierlinger, a former Czechoslovakian prime minister. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1957, and joined the College Democrats of America.
While home in Denver from Wellesley, Korbel worked as an intern for The Denver Post. There she met Joseph Albright. He was the nephew of Alicia Patterson, owner of Newsday and wife of philanthropist Harry Frank Guggenheim. Korbel converted to the Episcopal Church at the time of her marriage. The couple were married in Wellesley in 1959, shortly after her graduation. They lived in Rolla, Missouri, while Joseph completed his military service at nearby Fort Leonard Wood. During this time, Albright worked at The Rolla Daily News.
The couple moved to Joseph’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois, in January 1960. Joseph worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a journalist, and Albright worked as a picture editor for Encyclopædia Britannica. The following year, Joseph Albright began work at Newsday in New York City, and the couple moved to Garden City on Long Island.
That year, she gave birth to twin daughters, Alice Patterson Albright and Anne Korbel Albright. The twins were born six weeks premature and required a long hospital stay. As a distraction, Albright began Russian language classes at Hofstra University in the Village of Hempstead nearby.
In 1962, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where they lived in Georgetown. Albright studied international relations and continued in Russian at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, a division of Johns Hopkins University in the capital.
Joseph’s aunt Alicia Patterson died in 1963 and the Albrights returned to Long Island with the notion of Joseph taking over the family newspaper business. Albright gave birth to another daughter, Katharine Medill Albright, in 1967. She continued her studies at Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government. (It was later renamed as the political science department, and is located within the School of International and Public Affairs.) She earned a certificate in Russian, an M.A. and a PhD, writing her master’s thesis on the Soviet diplomatic corps and her doctoral dissertation on the role of journalists in the Prague Spring of 1968. She also took a graduate course given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who later became her boss at the U.S. National Security Council.
Joseph was a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. He became famous in 1961 after publishing a report on the scandalous meeting of Richard Nixon with his supporters (Joseph hid in the hotel bathroom and recorded the conversation). In 1970, the couple sold all News Day shares for $ 37.5 million.
After 23 years of marriage, on January 31, 1983, the couple divorced. After the divorce, Madeleine got a three-storied house in Georgetown, a wealthy suburb of Washington, and a farm in Virginia, as well as a large part of his fortune. en.24smi.org
Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma/Getty Images Time
Madeleine Albright began her political career early
Madeleine Albright was invited to work in the White House after the 1976 U.S. presidential election of Jimmy Carter. Madeleine’s former professor at Columbia University, Zbigniew Brzezinski, became National Security Adviser and recruited his student to work in the West Wing as the National Security Council’s congressional liaison.
As a Democratic Party activist, in 1984 she became a foreign policy advisor, working with Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro when Walter Mondale ran for president. After that, she headed the Center for National Policy, which was created to strengthen the Democratic Party. At that time, Albright managed to broaden contacts and in 1988 became a foreign policy advisor, briefing Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
During the presidential debate of Dukakis and his adversary George W. Bush in Washington, Madeleine Albright met Bill Clinton, the then-governor of Arkansas. In 1989, she advised Clinton to join the Council on Foreign Relations (an influential U.S. non-governmental organization), which Clinton did not forget. After becoming president, he appointed Madeleine Albright U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. en.24smi.org
United Kingdom Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir David Hannay, and US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright vote during a Security Council meeting in New York to allow Iraq to export a limited amount of oil to cover the cost of humanitarian supplies for its population on April 14, 1995. TIME
Timothy Clary—AFP/Getty Images
While working at the U.N. as the United States representative, she played a key role when Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined NATO. She is known for her involvement in the use of force during the conflict in the Balkans. Many people blame her for the mass killing of Serbs in Kosovo and call her the “executioner of Serbia.”
When Clinton began his second term in January 1997, following his re-election, he required a new Secretary of State, as incumbent Warren Christopher was retiring. The top level of the Clinton administration was divided into two camps on selecting the new foreign policy. Outgoing Chief of Staff Leon Panetta favored Albright, but a separate faction argued, “anybody but Albright”, with Sam Nunn as its first choice. Albright orchestrated a campaign on her own behalf that proved successful. When Albright took office as the 64th U.S. Secretary of State on January 23, 1997, she became the first female U.S. Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government at the time of her appointment. Not being a natural-born citizen of the U.S., she was not eligible as a U.S. presidential successor.
Madeleine Albright has often sharply criticized the foreign policy of Russia, in particular, President Vladimir Putin:
“He is smart, but a truly evil man. A KGB officer, who wants to keep everything under control and believes that everyone conspires against Russia. It is not true. Putin had bad cards, but they were played well. At least, in the short-term. I think his goal is to undermine and split the E.U. He wants to drive NATO from his sphere of influence.”
President Bill Clinton confers with Albright before delivering the final statement at the Middle East Summit in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, on October 17, 2000 [File: Jerome Delay/AP Photo]
When The Washington Post reported on Albright’s Jewish heritage shortly after she had become Secretary of State in 1997, Albright said that the report was a “major surprise”. Albright said that she did not learn until age 59 that both her parents were born and raised in Jewish families. As many as a dozen of her relatives in Czechoslovakia—including three of her grandparents—had been murdered in the Holocaust.
In the lead-up to the Iraq war in 2003, Albright said the invasion was justified, based on allegations that Baghdad possessed weapons of mass destruction. But she argued that the country did not pose an immediate threat to the US and called for keeping focus on defeating al-Qaeda.
She would later come out forcefully against the war. “Iraq is going to go down in history as the greatest disaster in American foreign policy,” she told Al Jazeera in a 2007 interview.
During efforts to press North Korea to end its nuclear weapons programme, which were eventually unsuccessful, Albright travelled to Pyongyang in 2000 to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, becoming the highest-ranking US official to visit the country.
While hailed in some circles as a feminist icon, critics have criticised Albright’s support for US wars and sanctions.
“Madeline Albright was one of my earliest lessons in the bankruptcy of identity politics. It doesn’t matter if you are the first anything if your politics perpetuate the status quo of racial violence, imperial war making, and capitalist extraction/exploitation,” Palestinian-American author and activist Noura Erakat wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price called Albright a “trailblazer” on Wednesday.
“The impact that she has had on this building is felt every single day and just about every single corridor,” Price told reporters.
Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, eulogised Albright as a “towering champion for peace, diplomacy and democracy”.
“Her historic tenure as our nation’s first woman to serve as our top diplomat paved the way for generations of women to serve at the highest levels of our government and represent America abroad,” Pelosi said. (Al Jazeera)
Former President Barack Obama said in a statement, “Madeleine Albright helped bring peace to the Balkans, paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable corners of the world, and was a champion for democratic values. And as an immigrant herself, she brought a unique and important perspective to her trailblazing career.”
Obama also recounted an interaction he said Albright had with an Ethiopian man at a naturalization ceremony.
Obama said the “man came up to Madeleine and said, ‘Only in America could a refugee from Africa meet the Secretary of State.’ She replied, ‘Only in America could a refugee from Central Europe become Secretary of State.'” ABC News
Madeleine Albright’s family said the former secretary of state died Wednesday from cancer.
Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE ABC News
Albright died from cancer in Washington, D.C., on March 23, 2022, at the age of 84. Many political figures paid tribute to her, including presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and former British prime minister Tony Blair.
US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Albright, saying she was a “force for goodness, grace, and decency – and for freedom”.
Georgetown Univiversity professor Madeleine Albright, foreign policy adviser to presiden…Read More ABC News
Joyce Naltchayan/AFP via Getty Images
Albright proved adept at making complicated foreign policy accessible to the public. NPR
Cliff Schiappa/AFP via Getty Images
As secretary of state, Albright promoted the eastward expansion of NATO and the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. NPR
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearin…Read More ABC News
Stephen Jaffe—AFP/Getty Images TIME
David Hume Kennerly—Getty Images TIME
BasilioC – Own work
Madeleine Albright at the World Economic Forum Wikipedia
Ted Mathias/AFP via Getty Images NPR
Albright remained an active professor at Georgetown University, training the next generation of diplomats.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images NPR
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry greets Albright, February 6, 2013 Wikipedia
Luisa Dörr for TIME
from Austin – DIG14155-46
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images NPR
An interesting fact is her impressive collection of pins. In 2009-2010, she exhibited them at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Most of them have no artistic or jewelry value, but attract people as a symbol of a new approach to diplomacy.
Madeleine Albright is naturally straightforward. But, as a diplomat, she could not always express her opinion, communicating with an opponent. Madeleine is a woman who came up with her diplomatic language, “brooch language.” en.24smi.org
Albright mentioned her physical fitness and exercise regimen in several interviews. In 2006, she said she was capable of leg pressing 400 pounds (180 kg). Albright was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by The Guardian in March 2013.
Madeleine Albright: My Life With Pins
Nov 15, 2012 Newfields
Madeleine Albright: My Life With Pins While serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright became known for using jewelry as a tools for diplomacy. Hear her discuss her collection of more than 200 pins, from the gold serpent brooch she wore in response to a poem published by Saddam Hussein’s press, to gifts—like the pin she received from the family of a woman who died as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The program includes an audience Q&A with Secretary Albright moderated by Maxwell Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of IMA. This event took place on November 11, 2010 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Madeleine Albright, first woman to become secretary of state, dies at 84
Mar 23, 2022 PBS NewsHour
From the very heights of government and diplomacy, to fierce advocacy for democracy and refugees, Madeleine Albright set a new and trailblazing standard. The first woman to become secretary of state died Wednesday afternoon in Washington, but leaves an impressive legacy. Nick Schifrin reports and Judy Woodruff speaks with former President Bill Clinton by phone to discuss her life and career. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6 Follow us: Facebook: http://www.pbs.org/newshour Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/newshour Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/newshour Subscribe: PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts Newsletters: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/subscribe
Remembering the life and legacy of Madeleine Albright
Mar 23, 2022 PBS NewsHour
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who died Wednesday after a battle with cancer, was known by most everyone in Washington, D.C. in the world of politics, statecraft, and journalism. Susan Rice, one of Albright’s longtime friends and one of her successors as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss her legacy. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6 Follow us:
‘Irreplaceable’ | Madeleine Albright’s friends remember her contributions to DC
Mar 23, 2022 WUSA9
Albright instructed students at Georgetown University for 40 years all the while attending and serving local churches in the District. » Subscribe to WUSA9: https://bit.ly/2lO8e2F FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter: https://twitter.com/wusa9 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wusa9 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wusa9 NEWS TIPS – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org » Subscribe to WUSA9: https://bit.ly/2lO8e2F FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter: https://twitter.com/wusa9 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wusa9 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wusa9 NEWS TIPS – Email: email@example.com
Mika On Madeleine Albright: I Will Miss Her Deeply
Mar 24, 2022 MSNBC
Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as the U.S. secretary of state, died Wednesday at the age of 84, her family said in a statement. Mika Brzezinski and the Morning Joe panel remember Albright’s life and legacy. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers a full schedule of live news coverage, political opinions and award-winning documentary programming — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/Readmsnbc Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTube Find MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/Likemsnbc Follow MSNBC on Twitter: http://on.msnbc.com/Followmsnbc Follow MSNBC on Instagram: http://on.msnbc.com/Instamsnbc Mika On Madeleine Albright: I Will Miss Her Deeply
Madeleine Albright Says ‘See Something, Say Something, Do Something’
Apr 10, 2018 The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Former Sec. of State and ‘Fascism: A Warning’ author Madeleine Albright tells Stephen the warning signs of a strongman. Subscribe To “The Late Show” Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/ColbertYouTube For more content from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, click HERE: http://bit.ly/1AKISnR Watch full episodes of “The Late Show” HERE: http://bit.ly/1Puei40 Like “The Late Show” on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/1df139Y Follow “The Late Show” on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1dMzZzG Follow “The Late Show” on Google+ HERE: http://bit.ly/1JlGgzw Follow “The Late Show” on Instagram HERE: http://bit.ly/29wfREj Follow “The Late Show” on Tumblr HERE: http://bit.ly/29DVvtR Watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert weeknights at 11:35 PM ET/10:35 PM CT. Only on CBS. Get the CBS app for iPhone & iPad! Click HERE: http://bit.ly/12rLxge Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream live TV, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B — The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is the premier late night talk show on CBS, airing at 11:35pm EST, streaming online via CBS All Access, and delivered to the International Space Station on a USB drive taped to a weather balloon. Every night, viewers can expect: Comedy, humor, funny moments, witty interviews, celebrities, famous people, movie stars, bits, humorous celebrities doing bits, funny celebs, big group photos of every star from Hollywood, even the reclusive ones, plus also jokes.
Bill Clinton: Madeleine Albright Represented The Best Of America
Mar 24, 2022 MSNBC
Former President Bill Clinton joins Morning Joe to discuss the life and legacy of first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who died at the age of 84. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers a full schedule of live news coverage, political opinions and award-winning documentary programming — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/Readmsnbc Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTube Find MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/Likemsnbc Follow MSNBC on Twitter: http://on.msnbc.com/Followmsnbc Follow MSNBC on Instagram: http://on.msnbc.com/Instamsnbc Bill Clinton: Madeleine Albright Represented The Best Of America
Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright Speak at the Women in Public Service Institute
On Monday, June 11, 2012, the inaugural Women in Public Service Institute opened at Wellesley College. The two-week program for emerging women leaders is part of a global project launched by the U.S. Department of State and women’s colleges of the Seven Sisters—Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley—with a goal to get world leadership from 17.5% female to “50% by 2050.” Speakers included: Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright ’59, introduced by Ambassador Michele Sison ’81 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69, introduced by Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly A text transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks is available at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/201…. Learn more about the opening ceremonies: http://new.wellesley.edu/news/wps Learn more about the Institute: http://womeninpublicservice.org/insti…
Madeleine Albright, “Fascism: A Warning”
Apr 18, 2018 Politics and Prose
Madeleine Albright discusses her book, “Fascism: A Warning”, at a Politics and Prose event at Sixth and I in Washington, DC on 4/16/18. Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Madeleine Albright is the first woman ever to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. Over her long career as a diplomat, Albright watched Fascism rise and endure. In Fascism: A Warning, she shows us how its legacy shapes today’s world. Albright believes that the momentum toward democracy that swept the world when the Berlin Wall fell has gone into reverse. Extremists on the right and left are taking power all over the globe, and we must join forces to resist in order to avoid repeating the horrors of the past. In this call to arms, Albright gives us the lessons we should take from the past, the questions we need to ask in the present, and the tools we can use to fight for our future. Albright is in conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting https://www.politics-prose.com/book/9… Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/ Produced by Tom Warren
The Crisis with Russia – Implications for the U.S. and Europe with Madeleine Albright
Mar 24, 2022 GrassRoots Community Network
Filmed on 08/08/2014 Also featuring Robert Gates,Condoleezza Rice, and Nicholas Burns. This talk is part of The Aspen Institute- McCloskey Speaker Series. GrassRoots TV is the country’s first and oldest community cable television station. https://bit.ly/GRTVContribute to contribute! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, HIT LIKE and leave a COMMENT to let us know if you enjoyed this video, it is important to us and the community for you to become part of the conversation. Thanks for tuning in! Subscribe for more videos: https://bit.ly/2Ycpi4P Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrassRootsCo… Twitter: https://twitter.com/grassrootstv Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/grassroots-com… Web: http://www.grassrootstv.org/
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