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Remembering Warren Christopher, who died Friday at 85

March 19, 2011 | 11:09 am

Christopher Warren Christopher, the former secretary of State who died Friday at age 85, was "a skillful diplomat, a steadfast public servant and a faithful American," President Obama said Saturday in a statement.

"Deeply dedicated to serving his country, Warren's career ranged from the naval reserve in World War II to a clerkship at the Supreme Court to the practice of law and politics in California and Washington. And as President Clinton's Secretary of State, he was a resolute pursuer of peace, leading negotiations with regard to the Middle East and the Balkans, including the Dayton Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia. "

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said in a statement that Christopher "was the consummate public servant and a proud patriot. Both at home and abroad, he was a skilled tactician on behalf of American interests."

Madeleine Albright, who followed Christopher as secretary of State, called him a "colleague, mentor and friend."

"Throughout a long and remarkable career of public service Secretary Christopher acted out of a profound sense of decency and honor, qualities that he sought diligently to nurture in others," she said in statement.

Former Vice President Al Gore said Christopher "was one of the great statesmen of our era."

"Sometimes, in order to find the real sources of heroic change in history, one should look to the life-work of dedicated, quiet, and supremely skillful public servants, who are prepared to sacrifice personal gain and ease for the sake not only of our country's interests, but also its principles," Gore said in a statement. "Warren Christopher is an exemplar of such service."

Christopher's career included leading an independent investigation of the Los Angeles Police Department that brought important reforms after the Rodney King beating. 


Warren Christopher dies at 85.

Christopher Commission report excerpts

Photos: Christopher's career

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Warren Christopher in 1996. Credit: Associated Press