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Richard C. Holbrooke, the high-octane diplomat who spearheaded the end of the Bosnian war and most recently served as the Obama administration's point man in the volatile Afghan-Pakistani war zone, has died, officials said.
The 69-year-old diplomat died Monday at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. He was admitted last Friday after feeling ill. Doctors performed surgery Saturday to repair a tear in his aorta.
One of the world's most recognizable diplomats, Holbrooke's car
President Obama called Holbrooke "a true giant of American foreign policy who has made America stronger, safer, and more respected."
"Tonight, there are millions of people around the world whose lives have been saved and enriched by his work," Obama said in a statement.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the nation had lost "one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants."
"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," Clinton's statement said, later adding: "Few people have ever left a larger mark on the State Department or our country."