Biden, Clintons to lead tributes to deceased Secretary of State Madeleineb

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead tributes on Wednesday to Madeleine Albright, the first woman to helm the US State Department, at a memorial service in Washington.

Albright, who served as secretary of state from 1997 to 2001, died last month of cancer. The professor, businesswoman, mother and grandmother was heralded as a trailblazer after her death.

Albright and her family fled the Nazis in her native Czechoslovakia during World War Two. They eventually settled in the United States and Albright grew to become a tough-talking diplomat, famous for a sometimes sharp tongue and a collection of pins that she would wear to send political messages.

Albright’s memorial service will be held at the Washington National Cathedral. More than 1,400 people are expected to attend, according to a spokesperson for the family, including foreign ministers, ambassadors and members of Congress.

Biden and the Clintons will each give remarks, as will Albright’s three daughters. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will also speak.

Former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama and former Vice President Al Gore are also expected to attend along with current administration officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Bernard Orr)

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