Cancer has claimed the life of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first woman to hold the top job at the U.S. State Department.
She was appointed by President Bill Clinton and served until 2001 after having been his ambassador to the United Nations in his first term.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1937 her family fled the country in 1939 when Hitler’s forces invaded the Eastern European nation.
They settled in England but found themselves under attack from Germany during the Blitz of London in which over 40,000 civilians were killed.
Albright emigrated with her family to the United States in 1948.
She became a U.S. citizen in 1957 and after earning a Ph.D from Columbia University she went to work for the Carter administration as his national security advisor.
Albright also held a post at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Following her time in public service Albright was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2012.
She died surrounded by family and is survived by her three daughters and several grandchildren.