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President Bill Clinton honored former Secretary of State Madeleine Abright at her funeral service in Washington by recalling their last conversation, one he says “he will never forget.”
Watch Clinton’s full remarks in the player above.
Clinton said their final call took place two weeks before Albright died and she didn’t want to talk about her health, but about “what kind of world are we going to leave to our grandchildren.”
WATCH: Madeleine Albright was ‘a force for good in the world,’ Biden says in eulogy
As secretary of state, Albright played a key role in persuading Clinton to go to war against the Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic over his treatment of Kosovar Albanians in 1999.
As U.N. ambassador, she advocated a tough U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the case of Milosevic’s treatment of Bosnia. NATO’s intervention in Kosovo was eventually dubbed “Madeleine’s War.”
Born Marie Jana Korbel in Prague on May 15, 1937, she was the daughter of a diplomat, Joseph Korbel. The family was Jewish and converted to Roman Catholicism when she was 5. Three of her Jewish grandparents died in concentration camps.
Albright was an internationalist whose point of view was shaped in part by her background. Her family fled Czechoslovakia in 1939 as the Nazis took over their country, and she spent the war years in London.
After the war, as the Soviet Union took over vast chunks of Eastern Europe, her father brought the family to the United States. They settled in Denver, where her father taught at the University of Denver. One of Korbel’s best students was Rice, who would later succeed his daughter as secretary of state.
Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959. She worked as a journalist and later studied international relations at Columbia University, where she earned a master’s degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1976.
She then entered politics and what was at the time the male-dominated world of foreign policy professionals.
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