President Bill Clinton honored former Secretary of State Madeleine Abraite at her funeral service in Washington, recalling their last conversation, which he said he would “never forget.”
See the full Clinton statements in the player above.
Clinton said their last call came in two weeks to Albright’s death and she wanted to talk not about her health, but about “what a world we will leave to our grandchildren.”
As secretary of state, Albright played a key role in persuading Clinton to start a war against Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic over his treatment of Kosovo Albanians in 1999.
As a UN ambassador, she advocated a tough US foreign policy, especially in the case of Milosevic’s attitude towards Bosnia. NATO’s intervention in Kosovo was eventually called the “Madeleine War”.
Marie Jana Korbel was born in Prague on May 15, 1937. She was the daughter of diplomat Josef Korbel. The family was Jewish and converted to Roman Catholicism when she was 5 years old. Three of her grandparents died in concentration camps.
Albright was an internationalist whose point of view was partly shaped by her origins. Her family fled Czechoslovakia in 1939 when the Nazis seized their country, and she spent the war years in London.
After the war, when the Soviet Union seized huge chunks of Eastern Europe, her father brought the family to the United States. They settled in Denver, where her father taught at the University of Denver. One of Corbel’s best students was Rice, who later succeeded his daughter as secretary of state.
Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959. She worked as a journalist and then studied international relations at Columbia University, where in 1968 she received a master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy. in 1976.
Then she entered politics and what at the time was a world dominated by men, foreign policy professionals.