Holbrooke, the administration point man for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was known for having an abrasive personality that sometimes rubbed people – including Hamid Karzai – the wrong way. But he was also a veteran State Department hand and foreign policy expert who negotiated the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in the Balkins.
Holbrooke suffered a tear in his aorta, first experiencing symptoms during a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton Friday. The Washington Post has a good obituary covering his career.
Here is statement by President Obama, who passed Holbrooke over for Secretary of State by choosing Clinton. Holbrooke had been Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy adviser for years and would have been Secretary of State if she became president.
He was also runner up to Madeleine Albright when Bill Clinton tapped her for the post.