printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke: Condolences

On behalf of the SRAP team, thank you to the thousands of friends, around the world and in the U.S., who have reached out to express their heartfelt condolences over Ambassador Holbrooke’s passing. He inspired the deepest loyalty and love in those who worked for him and with him.

Ambassador Holbrooke epitomized great diplomacy: loving his country and its values, and using every tool at his disposal to solve problems and improve lives. "Diplomacy is like jazz," he liked to say, "improvisation on a theme." Over the course of his career, his diplomatic efforts have touched nearly every country in the world. As Secretary Clinton noted shortly after his passing: “from his early days in Vietnam to his historic role bringing peace to the Balkans to his last mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Holbrooke helped shape our history, manage our perilous present, and secure our future.”

All of us that he touched mourn this loss. But we are also mindful that his critical work - making the world a safer, more peaceful place – must continue, as he would have wanted most of all. Ambassador Holbrooke was a man who stared down adversity, and chaos, and never faltered. The important mission that guides our work remains. We will carry forward his legacy, and we will not falter either.

For those who would like to submit a personal message of condolence, please use the following email address:

A private memorial service to honor Ambassador Holbrooke’s life and work was held on Friday, January 14, 2011 at the Kennedy Center. View Video»



President Barack Obama

Vice President Joe Biden

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Admiral Mike Mullen

Secretary Gates



David Miliband: Richard Holbrooke's true memorial would be a lasting peace in Afghanistan

Richard Cohen: Holbrooke – An Extraordinary Man

Rajiv Chadrasekaran: Richard Holbrooke Veteran U.S. Diplomat Brokered Dayton Peace Accords

Joe Klein: Richard Holbrooke

Foreign Policy: A look at the foreign-policy titan from the people who knew him best

Strobe Talbott: Remembering Richard Holbrooke


In lieu of flowers, people are invited to make donations to the following organizations in Ambassador Holbrooke’s name:

Africa-America Institute

American Academy in Berlin

American Museum of Natural History

Asia Society

Citizens Committee for New York City

Council on Foreign Relations

Global Business Coalition

Refugees International

Brown University
Gift Cashier
Box 1877
Providence, RI 02912, USA
(Donor should note in the memo portion of their check: In memory of Richard C. Holbrooke; donations will be allocated to the Richard Holbrooke Fund for International Affairs at the Watson Institute.)

Written by Richard C. Holbrooke:

To End A War, Published by Random House, Inc., 1998


Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.