Passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
December 14, 2010
Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke

Statement from the President on Richard Holbrooke

Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke passed away on the evening of December 13, surrounded by his wife, Kati, his sons David and Anthony, his step-children Elizabeth and Chris Jennings, his daughter-in-law Sarah, and the rest of their family. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released the following statement on his passing:

"Tonight America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants. Richard Holbrooke served the country he loved for nearly half a century, representing the United States in far-flung war-zones and high-level peace talks, always with distinctive brilliance and unmatched determination. He was one of a kind -- a true statesman -- and that makes his passing all the more painful.

"From his early days in Vietnam to his historic role bringing peace to the Balkans to his last mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard helped shape our history, manage our perilous present, and secure our future. He was the consummate diplomat, able to stare down dictators and stand up for America's interests and values even under the most difficult circumstances. He served at every level of the Foreign Service and beyond, helping mentor generations of talented officers and future ambassadors. Few people have ever left a larger mark on the State Department or our country. From Southeast Asia to post-Cold War Europe and around the globe, people have a better chance of a peaceful future because of Richard's lifetime of service.

"I had the privilege to know Richard for many years and to call him a friend, colleague and confidante. As Secretary of State, I have counted on his advice and relied on his leadership. This is a sad day for me, for the State Department and for the United States of America.

"True to form, Richard was a fighter to the end. His doctors marveled at his strength and his willpower, but to his friends, that was just Richard being Richard. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of all the medical staff, and to everyone who sat by his side or wished him well in these final days.

"Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with Richard's beloved wife Kati, his sons David and Anthony, his step-children Elizabeth and Chris Jennings, his daughter-in-law Sarah, and all of his countless friends and colleagues."

You can also read the Secretary's statement here on

The Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) team remembers Ambassador Holbrooke and shares how individuals can offer their condolences.



New Mexico, USA
December 14, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Tis a sad day for the little guy who seeks to live in peace, for the guy who had thier back to create it has been called away to a larger negotiating table and we must now simply accept that the universe needed a seasoned diplomat more than we mear mortals did.

As a member of the public I never met Amb. Holbrooke, but he earned my respect for the way in which he patiently explained situations and brought his assesment to light for the press and public. I got the sense that here was a guy who really cared about folks caufght in the middle of conflict and disaster and wasn't simply playing a part as diplomat, but took joy in creating solutions from scratch with effective diplomacy.

My condolences to family and friends who'll miss him greatly.



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