"For me, being raised in a free America made all the difference."
First woman to represent the U.S. in foreign affairs as Secretary of State.
Born in Czechoslovakia
Madeleine Albright, born in 1937 in Prague, moved with her family to the United States as a child. After studying at Wellesley College and Columbia University, she entered politics at the urging of a former professor. In 1993, Albright became the American ambassador to the United Nations, and three years later was appointed Secretary of State in the Clinton administration, becoming the first woman to ever hold the position.
Born Marie Jana Korbel in Prague on May 15, 1937, she and her family soon fled the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, when Madeleine was just a toddler. They settled in England. Although raised Catholic, Madeleine Albright would later learn that her parents had converted to Christianity from Judaism, and that three of her grandparents had died in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Returning to Czechoslovakia after the war, the Korbels again took flight when the communists came to power. They settled in Denver, Colorado, and Madeleine's father, Josef, who had worked as both a journalist and a diplomat, became a distinguished professor at the University of Denver.
Adviser and Educator
A Leader in World Affairs
President-elect Bill Clinton tapped Albright to become the U.S Ambassador to the United Nations, where she officially took her post 1993. She quickly distinguished herself as a force to be reckoned with.
In December 1996, Clinton once again looked to Albright, this time to serve as secretary of state. Sworn in the following January, she became the 64th secretary of state and the first woman to ever hold that position. During her tenure, Albright advocated for increased human rights and democracy throughout the world and fought to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
Since she left government service, she’s authored several New York Times best-selling books. And. in 2007, she launched the international private investment fund, Albright Capital Management to support emerging nations. She also serves as co-chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and is chair of the advisory council for The Hague Institute for Global Justice. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Excerpted from “U.S Immigrant Biography.com”
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