Albright, Madeleine

Albright, Madeleine,

1937–, American government official, b. Prague, Czechoslovakia, as Maria Jana Körbel. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1948, and she attended Wellesley College (B.A., 1959) and Columbia (M.A., 1968; Ph.D., 1976). A lifelong Democrat, she was chief legislative assistant to Senator Edmund MuskieMuskie, Edmund Sixtus,
1914–96, U.S. Senator (1959–80), b. Rumford, Maine. A lawyer, he sat (1947–51) in the Maine legislature after serving in the navy in World War II.
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 (1976–78) and served on the staff of the National Security Council and the White House (1978–81) under President Carter. Albright then was an international affairs professor at Georgetown Univ. (1982–93); her home was an informal meeting place for prominent Democrats and international leaders. She was (1992) an adviser to Bill ClintonClinton, Bill
(William Jefferson Clinton), 1946–, 42d President of the United States (1993–2001), b. Hope, Ark. His father died before he was born, and he was originally named William Jefferson Blythe 4th, but after his mother remarried, he assumed the surname of his
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, who appointed her ambassador to the United Nations in 1993. A forceful promoter of American interests, she encouraged increased U.S. participation in the United Nations, often in military actions. In 1997, President Clinton named her secretary of state; she was the first woman to hold (1997–2001) the post. Upholding the administration's "assertive multilateralism," Albright supported expanding NATO and advocated for an active foreign policy, including using U.S. forces to protect American interests and prevent genocide. She has written several books on foreign affairs.


See her memoirs, Madam Secretary (2003), Prague Winter (2012), Hell and Other Destinations (2020, with B. Woodward); biographies by T. Blood (1997), A. Blackman (1998), and M. Dobbs (1999).

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