Longtime U.S. diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke, whose relentless prodding and deft maneuvering yielded the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia - a success he hoped to repeat as President Obama's chief envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan - died Monday in Washington of complications from surgery to repair a torn aorta. He was 69.
Richard Holbrooke dies: Veteran U.S. diplomat brokered Dayton peace accords
DRUDGE SAYS: As Mr. Holbrooke was sedated for surgery, family members said, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon: 'You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan'
A foreign policy adviser to four Democratic presidents, Mr. Holbrooke was a towering, one-of-a-kind presence who helped define American national security strategy over 40 years and three wars by connecting Washington politicians with New York elites and influential figures in capitals worldwide. He seemed to live on airplanes and move with equal confidence through Upper East Side cocktail parties, the halls of the White House and the slums of Pakistan.
Obama praised him as "a true giant of American foreign policy who has made America stronger, safer and more respected. He was a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement that the United States "has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants."