(CNN) Madeleine Albright, the first woman US secretary of state, who helped steer Western foreign policy in the aftermath of the Cold War, has died of cancer. She was 84 years old. Albright’s family announced her death in a statement Wednesday.
Albright was a central figure in President Bill Clinton’s administration, first serving as US ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the nation’s top diplomat in his second term. She championed the expansion of NATO, pushed for the alliance to intervene in the Balkans to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing, sought to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, and championed human rights and democracy across the globe.
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