Richard Holbrooke Dies

Richard Holbrooke, a U.S. diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers and served as President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, died today at the age of 69.

From CNN:

The 69-year-old diplomat died Monday at George Washington University Hospital. 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 career spanned from the Vietnam War-era to the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, coinciding with presidencies of the past five decades, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.

He also worked as a journalist and an investment banker. But as a diplomat, he was plain-speaking, accessible, and known for his tough-mindedness.

“He was known as a bit of bull in a China shop,” said Nic Robertson, CNN’s senior international correspondent who knew and covered Holbrooke.

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