BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LIFE & LEGACY OF MADELEINE ALBRIGHT (1937-2022)
Dr. Albright was born Marie (Madeleine) Jane Korbel in May 15, 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Albright’s family immigrated to the United States of America when she was 11years old. Her father Josef Korbel, was a Czech diplomat settled the family in Denver, Colorado. She became a US citizen in 1957.
Albright was born in May 15, 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic). Albright was born Marie Jane Korbel to a Czech diplomat. Her family fled Czechoslovakia to England after the Nazis occupied the country in 1939. Her family returned after World War II; they fled to US in 1948 due to the Soviet-sponsored Communist Coup. Albright had spent most of her life believing her family fled for political reasons until 1997 when she discovered her family fled because they were Jews.
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Korbel graduated from Kent Denver High School where she founded the school’s international relations club and became its first president. Korbel proceeded to Wellesley, Massachusetts, College majoring in Political Science on a full scholarship. She worked as an intern for the Denver Post as a college student. There, she met Joseph Albright whom she married shortly after her graduation in 1959. They moved to Chicago and had their twin daughters; Alice Albright and Anne Albright. The family later moved to Washington, DC, and lived in Georgetown. Albright went ahead to study International Relations, she continued in Russian at Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. In 1967, Albright welcomed another child, Katherine Medill Albright.
EDUCATION & CAREER.
Albright continued her studies at Columbia University, earned a master’s degree in 1968; she earned a certificate in Russian. Albright in 1972 organized a fund-raising dinner for the presidential campaign of Senator Edmund Muskie. This however led to her position as Muskie’s Chief legislative assistant in 1976. Albright proceeded to receive her Doctor of Philosophy in 1975 from Columbia. She began working for Zbigniew Brzezinski (US Pres. Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser) in 1978. However, following Carter’s loss in 1980 to Ronald Reagan, Albright focused on her educational and journalism career; conducting researches and she also traveled to conduct interviews in Poland. she joined the academic staff of Georgetown University, Washington in 1982. She also worked for several nonprofit organizations during this period. Her husband divorced her in 1982.
Upon Bill Clinton’s return to White House in 1992, Albright was employed to handle the transition to a new administration at the National Security Council. Her political career reportedly took off and Clinton nominated her to be US ambassador to the United Nations in 1993. At the UN, she was known for her assertiveness and rocky relationship with the then UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
In 1997, Albright became the first female U.S Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of US at that time. She became the 64th U.S. Secretary of State. She had a remarkable tenure. She championed and remained a strong advocate of democracy and human rights. She influenced American Foreign Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Middle East.
In 2012, Albright was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the former U.S President Obama. In an interview, Albright said, “there is no greater honor than public service. As a refugee or an immigrant, it’s even more important.” Albright wrote a number books, including Fascism: A Warning (2018), Hell and Other Destinations: 21st-Century Memoir (2020), Madam Secretary (2003), Prague Winter (2012), The Mighty and the Almighty (2006).
In March 23, 2022, the family of Madeleine Albright took to twitter to announce the demise of Albright with a lovely tribute.
Albright was not just the first female US Secretary of State, she was a mother, a grandmother, an author, a mentor, an advocate and a great example for women.