Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright speaks at the 2016 International Youth Leadership Summit at Woodgrove High School.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a former Loudoun County resident and Hillsboro farm owner, died of cancer Wednesday. She was 84.

Albright was surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement from her family on Twitter.

“We have lost a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend,” the statement said.

Albright visited local businesses such as Nichols Hardware Store in Purcellville and the former Planet Wayside restaurant in Hamilton. She also spoke to students at Hillsboro Elementary School and Woodgrove High School.

Hillsboro resident Sheri Leonard wrote on Facebook that her husband took care of Albright’s farm from 1998 until January, when he passed away. “She was an amazing person. Couldn’t ask for a better person to work for. She always took care of her employees. Such an amazing woman who will be missed dearly.”

Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk met Secretary Albright in 2006. She became a friend and a confidante over the years, Burk told the Times-Mirror.

“She was an inspiration to so many women. When I needed her support, she was there and she always gave me stellar advice. I will dearly miss her,” Burk said.

Elected officials remember Albright

Albright, a child refugee from Nazi and then Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe, became the first female U.S. Secretary of State and held that position from 1997 to 2001 after serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She earned the Medal of Freedom in 2012.

“Secretary Albright was a fierce believer in the power of democracy and a remarkable woman and public servant,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va-10th). “From joining me on the campaign trail to offering counsel once in Congress, she was a profound inspiration for me and countless others across the globe,” she wrote.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats who represent Virginia, said Albright was a “trailblazer for women everywhere” and “a towering figure in American diplomacy,” respectively.

State Del. Wendy Gooditis (D-10th) said on Twitter she was saddened to hear of the passing of former Secretary Albright.

“Her thoughtful leadership, advocacy for democracy and human rights, and bravery as a trailblazer as the first female Secretary of State truly made an impact on the world. I’m grateful for her work and example,” Gooditis wrote.

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair-at-Large Phyllis Randall (D) tweeted, “May she rest in peace and may her memory be a blessing to her family.”

County Supervisor Juli Briskman (D-Algonkian), who tweeted a photo of Albright during a canvas event, said she briefly met the former secretary of state in 2018, who signed two copies of her book, “Facism: A Warning.”

“She was a brilliant role model for women change makers. She will be missed,” Briskman wrote.

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