Madeleine Albright dead: First female US Secretary of State dies aged 84

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She died after a battle with cancer, her family said in a statement.

They added she was “surrounded by friends and family” when she died.

The statement said: “We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.”

But they continued to highlight her political career, adding she was a “tireless champion of democracy and human rights”.

Ms Albright was a key figure of the Democratic administration led by former US President Bill Clinton, forming US policy for the post-Cold War period.

She first served as the US Ambassador to the United Nations, before becoming a staple as America’s most important diplomat.

During her political career, she pushed for NATO expansion and the US as a promoter of democratic values, pushing for military intervention in Kosovo.

She was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2012 by Barack Obama, which is America’s highest civilian honour.

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