This just broke on Fox. Kirkpatrick was United States Representative to the UN under Ronald Reagan.
Update: Here’s the AP report via Forbes:
Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, a one-time Democrat who switched to the Republican Party and warmly embraced Reagan era conservatism, has died. She was 80.
Kirkpatrick’s death was announced Friday at the senior staff meeting of the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said spokesman Richard Grenell, who said that Ambassador John Bolton asked for a moment of silence. An announcement of her death also was posted on the Web site of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-oriented think tank here where she was a senior fellow.
Kirkpatrick’s assistant, Andrea Harrington, said that she died in her sleep at home in Bethesda, Md. late Thursday. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Kirkpatrick’s health had been in decline recently, Harrington said, adding that she was “basically confined to her house,” going to work about once a week “and then less and less.”
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said that Kirkpatrick, the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., “stood up for the interests of America while at the U.N., lent a powerful moral voice to the Reagan foreign policy and has been a source of wise counsel to our nation since leaving the government two decades ago. She will be greatly missed.”
Karlyn H. Bowman, a colleague of Kirkpatrick’s at AEI, called her “always insightful. Always interesting. Very thoughtful about modern American politics and foreign policy. A wonderful colleague.”
This is a significant loss. Ambassador Kirkpatrick was a strong voice for freedom and stood firmly against communism. She was confident in her positions and did not mince words; rather she was refreshingly blunt. These are some of her most famous quotes:
- “Democrats can’t get elected unless things get worse-and things won’t get worse unless they get elected.”
- “What takes place in the Security Council more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving.”
- “When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the “blame America first crowd” didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States. But then, they always blame America first. . . . The American people know better.” – Speech delivered at the 1984 Republican National Convention
Her speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention is probably her most famous. In it she outlined how the liberals back them had a habit of blaming America first for all things bad in the world, and, when you read it again, you’ll find not much has changed with the leftists in this country. They still blame America first.
Update II: The American Enterprise Institute, where she was a senior fellow, has a statement on the Ambassador’s death as well as background information.
Update III: Writing at The Corner, Peter Schweizer offers his memories:
The best advice I ever heard about feminism, balancing a career and family, came from Jeane Kirpatrick to my wife when Jeane was visiting Florida. “A career and a family—you can have it all,” she told Rochelle. “You just can’t have it all at the same time.” And that of course is how Jeane lived her life, as a committed mother and as one great diplomat and scholar.
Update IV: I highly recommend that everyone read Rick Moran‘s piece on Ambassador Kirkpatrick.