Legendary Diplomat Richard Holbrooke, Dies at 69

December 13, 2010

(ChattahBox US News)–U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has died at the age of 69, after suffering from a torn aorta on Friday, requiring two surgeries. Considered a legendary figure in foreign affairs, Holbrooke spent most of his life as a member of the Foreign Service, but he also achieved success on Wall Street. He willingly took on one of the toughest assignments, determined to bring stability and peace to Afghanistan, while understanding the huge challenges. Holbrooke will be nearly impossible to replace.

Holbrooke is known for brokering the accord that brought peace to Bosnia. In the twilight of his career, he had achieved much, including working as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. But he still longed for the position of Secretary of State that eluded him throughout his long and impressive career.

CNN’s obituary reports on his lengthy career in foreign service.

“One of the world’s most recognizable diplomats, Holbrooke’s career spanned from the Vietnam War-era to the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, coinciding with presidencies of the past five decades, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.” […]

“Serving President Bill Clinton as assistant secretary of state for Europe from 1994 to 1996, Americans got a taste of Holbrooke’s drive and intellect, as typified in this remark from “To End a War” — his memoir of the Dayton negotiations.”

“The negotiations were simultaneously cerebral and physical, abstract and personal, something like a combination of chess and mountain climbing,” he wrote.”

Holbrooke leaves behind his wife Kati Marton and his step children Christopher and Elizabeth Jennings.


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