Former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and current President Joe Biden were among those who paid tribute to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at her funeral on April 27 at Washington National Cathedral in the nation’s capital. Madeleine Albright was the United States’ first female secretary of state, arriving as a young girl from war-torn Czechoslovakia before going on to become a pioneering diplomat and national icon.
Albright, the first female secretary of state, died of cancer on March 23 at the age of 84. She served in the Clinton administration as the United States ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the first female secretary of state in 1997. She was a member of the governing body of Washington National Cathedral and a regular attendee of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington’s Georgetown area.
Albright wedded Joseph Medill Patterson Albright in 1959 and became a member of The Episcopal Church as a young adult. She was born into a Jewish family in Czechoslovakia in 1937, but she claims she was never told about her Jewish origin until 1997 when a Washington Post reporter discovered it.
Albright stayed engaged in the church after her term as secretary of state ended in 2001, including by attending numerous cathedral events focusing on religion and politics. She delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Colin Powell, one of her successors as Secretary of State and a fellow Episcopalian, in November 2021.
Albright’s burial was also attended by former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and former Vice President Al Gore. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were among the lawmakers and government officials who were there.