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Richard Holbrooke

Personal data
Date of birthApril 24, 1941
Place of birthNew York City, New York
Date of deathDecember 13, 2010(age 69)
Place of deathWashington, D.C.
Political partyDemocrat
SpouseLarrine Sullivan (m. 1964)
Blythe Babyak (m. 1977)
Kati Marton (m. 1995-2010, his death)
Children2 sons
Alma materBrown University
Princeton University
United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
In officeJanuary 22, 2009 - December 13, 2010
PresidentBarack Obama
Succeeded byMarc Grossman
Preceded by(post created)
22nd United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In officeAugust 25, 1999 - January 20, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
Succeeded byJohn D. Negroponte
Preceded byBill Richardson
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs
In officeSeptember 13, 1994 - February 21, 1996
PresidentBill Clinton
Succeeded byJohn C. Kornblum
Preceded byStephen A. Oxman
United States Ambassador to Germany
In officeOctober 19, 1993 - September 12, 1994
PresidentBill Clinton
Succeeded byCharles E. Redman
Preceded byRobert M. Kimmitt
15th Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
In officeMarch 31, 1977 - January 13, 1981
PresidentJimmy Carter
Succeeded byJohn H. Holdridge
Preceded byArthur W. Hummel, Jr.

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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 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, a frustrating assignment which was said to have caused his health to deteriorate. 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, another honor that he never won.


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