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Richard Holbrooke

Born: 1941-04-24 - Died: 2010-12-13
Cause of Death:
Complications from torn aorta

Death Summary: Holbrooke was admitted to George Washington University hospital after becoming sick at the State Department's headquarters. He passed away after a surgery for an aortic dissection.

Who was Richard Holbrooke : Richard Holbrooke is possibly one of the most important US diplomatic figures in the past 20 years. Recently, Holbrooke was assigned to a special adviser position for both Pakistan and Afghanistan, by President Obama.

Holbrooke was born in New York City, the son of jewish immigrants who fled Germany in the early 1930's. He graduated from Brown University, and immediately was inspired to become involved in government work. He would enter Foreign Service, where he would receive Vietnamese language training, and then begin serving in Vietnam. He served as a civilian representative, and eventually worked his way into the US Embassy of Saigon. He would then work directly for the White House, as a Vietnam expert.

Following his expertise during the Vietnam War, Holbrooke would then become the Peace Corps Director in Morroco for six years. In 1977 Jimmy Carter ran for president, and Holbrooke joined his campaign as a national security affairs expert. He was renowned for preparing Carter for foreign policy debates against Gerald Ford.

In 1993, under Bill Clinton's reign as president, Holbrooke became the US's Ambassador to Germany. During this time, Holbrooke became known for repairing US-Germany relations after the reunification of Germany.

Perhaps Holbrooke's most famous diplomatic feat came in the late 1990's, during the conflict between Serbia and the Kosovo Liberation Army. While working as a special presidential envoy, he helped to bring an end to the conflict. He is reported to have delivered an ultimatum personally to Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic before a NATO approved bombing campaign.

Most recently, Holbrooke was appointed by President Obama to serve as an adviser and representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Holbrooke advised the White House on strategies to broker peace in the region. He apparently had a contested diplomatic relationship with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Holbrooke is survived by his wife Kati Marton, two sons David and Anthony. President Obama, Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Senator John Kerry have all released statements concerning his death. Upon his deathbed, Holbrooke uttered the words, "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."
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4 Signatures in Richard Holbrooke's guestbook

  1. Jose Brenes Says:

    I hope I could be like Richard because he was a well known Diplomat. He inspired me to become one of the best because he loved all about diplomacy just like me.

    Jose Brenes
    International Relation UIA Studies.
    San Jose, Costa Rica.

  2. Lisa Palmgren Hogg Says:

    …So Very sorry to hear of the Loss to the World…God will take good care of them….Their Passing is Never easy…I know..It is never easy..Blessings to the Family…
    Sincerely,Lisa Palmgren Hogg

  3. Sami Flamuri Says:

    RIchards book “To End a War”is a must read on shuttle diplomacy …this giant of a man will be forever missed by Albanian people who still hold him as one of most major plyer to stop the war in Kosova…God Bless…

  4. karen vaughan Says:

    on the day u died I suffered the same symptoms faraway in George South Africa – a breaking feling at the top of my heart and couldnt stand – Karen

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