Richard Holbrooke

Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (April 24, 1941 – December 13, 2010) was an American diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker. He was the only person to have held the position of Assistant Secretary of State for two different regions of the world (Asia from 1977 to 1981 and Europe from 1994 to 1996). From 1993 to 1994, he was U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Long well known in diplomatic and journalistic circles, Holbrooke achieved great public prominence when he, together with former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, brokered a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia that led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, in 1995. Holbrooke was a leading contender to succeed the retiring Warren Christopher as Secretary of State but was passed over in 1996 as President Bill Clinton chose Madeleine Albright instead. From 1999 to 2001, Holbrooke served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He was an adviser to the Presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry in 2004. Holbrooke then joined the Presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and became a top foreign policy adviser. Holbrooke was considered a likely candidate for Secretary of State had Kerry or Hillary Clinton been elected President. In January 2009, Holbrooke was appointed as a special adviser on Pakistan and Afghanistan, working under President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He served until he died from complications of an aortic dissection on December 13, 2010. Holbrooke’s unfulfilled ambition was to become Secretary of State; he, along with George Kennan and Chip Bohlen, were considered among the most influential U.S. diplomats who never achieved cabinet rank. Several considered Holbrooke’s role in the Dayton Accords to merit the Nobel Peace Prize.

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