Madeleine Albright, the first woman to be U.S. secretary of state, has died, according to a statement from her family.
Albright was 84, and the cause of death was cancer, her family said.
“She was surrounded by family and friends. We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend,” the statement said.
She served as secretary of state from 1997 to 2001 during the Clinton administration.
“Hillary and I are profoundly saddened by the passing of Madeleine Albright. She was one of the finest secretaries of state, an outstanding UN ambassador, a brilliant professor, and an extraordinary human being,” former President Bill Clinton said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Few leaders have been so perfectly suited for the times in which they served.”
Albright was born in what was then Czechoslovakia and fled with her family after the Nazis occupied the country in 1939.