Madeleine Albright Biography

(64th United States Secretary of State (1997 - 2001))

Birthday: May 15, 1937 (Taurus)

Born In: Smíchov, Prague, Czechia

Madeleine Albright was the first female United States Secretary of State who served from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. She was instrumental in influencing American policy in Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Middle East. Before becoming U.S. Secretary of State, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997.  Madeleine Albright received her PhD. from the Columbia University and was the recipient of many honorary degrees. She was also a New York Times bestselling author; some of her books include, Madam Secretary, The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs and Read My Pins. She was the recipient of the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Albright's family settled in the United States of America after they fled their home country seeking political asylum. She began her political career assisting two unsuccessful presidential campaigns and later served as a National Security Adviser under then-President Jimmy Carter. She was the founder of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Madlenka

Also Known As: Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright, Marie Jana Korbelová

Died At Age: 84


Spouse/Ex-: Joseph Medill Patterson Albright (m. 1959 – 1982)

father: Josef Korbel

mother: Anna Korbel

siblings: John, Katherine

children: Anne Korbel Albright, Alice Patterson Albright, Katherine Medill Albright

Born Country: Czech Republic

Quotes By Madeleine Albright Diplomats

Height: 1.47 m

political ideology: Democratic

Died on: March 23, 2022

place of death: Washington, D.C., United States

Ancestry: Czech American

Notable Alumni: Kent Denver School

Ideology: Democrats

City: Prague, Czech Republic

More Facts

education: Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Wellesley College, Kent Denver School

awards: Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award

  • 1

    What were Madeleine Albright's notable achievements as the first female U.S. Secretary of State?

    Madeleine Albright was the first woman to hold the position of U.S. Secretary of State, serving from 1997 to 2001. She played a key role in shaping U.S. foreign policy during her tenure, including advocating for NATO expansion and leading diplomatic efforts in the Balkans.

  • 2

    What was Madeleine Albright's stance on the Iraq War?

    Madeleine Albright initially supported the Iraq War, but later expressed regrets about her decision. She criticized the Bush administration's handling of the war and called for a reassessment of U.S. foreign policy in the region.

  • 3

    How did Madeleine Albright contribute to women's rights and empowerment?

    Madeleine Albright was a staunch advocate for women's rights and empowerment. She emphasized the importance of including women in decision-making processes and worked to advance gender equality in diplomacy and international affairs.

  • 4

    What is Madeleine Albright's legacy in diplomacy and foreign policy?

    Madeleine Albright is remembered for her diplomacy skills, particularly in navigating complex international relations. She worked to promote democracy and human rights around the world, leaving a lasting impact on U.S. foreign policy.

  • 5

    How did Madeleine Albright influence U.S. relations with Russia and China during her time as Secretary of State?

    Madeleine Albright played a significant role in shaping U.S. relations with Russia and China during her tenure as Secretary of State. She worked to engage both countries diplomatically while also advocating for human rights and democracy in their respective regions.

Childhood & Early Life

Madeleine Albright was born as Marie Jana Korbelova in Prague, Czechoslovakia to a Czech Jewish diplomat, Josef Korbel, and his wife Anna. After the Nazi invasion, her family fled the country.

Her family later came to Colorado, where her father became a professor at the University of Denver. He taught Condoleezza Rice, who was one of his most loved students.

She won a scholarship to the Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she edited a newspaper and also developed an interest towards politics. She went on to pursue her graduate studies.

She later obtained a certificate in Russian studies from Columbia University. She subsequently went on to earn an M.A and complete her Ph.D on 'the role of journalists in the Prague Spring of 1968'.

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In 1972, Madeleine Albright began her political career after she assisted Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Edmund Muskie. He later appointed her as his chief legislative assistant.

After a few years, she was employed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former professor, who appointed her to work in the National Security Council during the time of President Jimmy Carter.

In 1980, after Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, she took up a research project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

In 1982, she joined the academic department of Georgetown University, where she specialised in Eastern European studies. She was also appointed as the director of the 'women in global politics' program.

In 1984, she was appointed as one of the major Democratic Party foreign policy advisors to Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. The campaign resulted in a defeat. She later advised Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

In 1992, she was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton to manage the new administration at the National Security Council. The following year, she was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

During her tenure as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, she defended UN sanctions against Iraq. She was also in favour of the U.S. intervention in Haiti.

In 1996, she was again asked to help out in foreign matters by the then-President Bill Clinton. The following year, she took office as the 64th United States Secretary of State.

During her tenure as the United States Secretary of State, she played a pivotal role in influencing American policy in Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Middle East. She also campaigned for human rights and was against nuclear power.

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In 1997, as the United States Secretary of State, she represented the Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong. She also worked hard to bring a peaceful resolution to the Middle East issues.

In 1998, she attended the NATO summit, where she sought ways to extend the membership of the organisation. Over the next few years she met with communist leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea.

In 2001, her term as the United States Secretary of State came to an end. After this, she devoted much of her time to other projects and also began writing books. That year, she established the global strategy company, Albright Stonebridge Group.

In 2003, she was appointed as one of the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange. However, she refused to stand for re-election to the same board and later resigned.

In 2005, she founded the fund management company, Albright Capital Management. She also serves as a member of Council on Foreign Relations Board of Directors and the International Advisory Committee of the Brookings Doha Center.

In 2005, she appeared as a guest star on the TV show, Gilmore Girls, in which she played herself. The following year, she attended a meeting for former Secretaries of Defense and State at the White House.

She was the chairperson of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She was also the President of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She was the co-chair of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.

In 2007, she was the chairperson at the Women's Ministerial Initiative organised by the Council of Women World Leaders. The following year, she supported Hillary Clinton in the Presidential campaign.

From 2011, she began serving in the advisory council in The Hague Institute for Global Justice. She holds office as top advisor to the U.S. President Barack Obama, advising him on national security issues.

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Madeleine Albright was the Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.

Awards & Achievements
Madeleine Albright became the second recipient of the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award, conferred by the Prague Society for International Cooperation.

In 2001, she became an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 2006, she received the Menschen in Europa Award for 'furthering the cause of international understanding'.

In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1959, Madeleine Albright married Joseph Albright. The couple had three children together. They divorced in 1982.

She had authored the books, Madam Secretary, The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War.

Her hate speech against Serbs created a major controversy. She also got into an art ownership scandal.

Madeleine Albright died from cancer in Washington, D.C., on March 23, 2022, at the age of 84

Facts About Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as the United States Secretary of State, breaking barriers in a historically male-dominated field.

She was known for her collection of decorative brooches, many of which held symbolic meaning related to diplomacy and international relations.

Albright was fluent in multiple languages, including Czech, French, Russian, and Polish, showcasing her diverse cultural background and intellectual curiosity.

She once famously told Saddam Hussein that he was a "serial killer" during a diplomatic meeting, demonstrating her boldness and willingness to speak truth to power.

Albright was a passionate advocate for democracy and human rights, using her position to promote these values on the global stage.

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