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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 17:02 GMT
Reagan's ambassador to UN dies
Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeane Kirkpatrick switched from Democratic to Republican Party
The United States' first female ambassador to UN, Jeane Kirkpatrick, has died at the age of 80.

She served at the UN from 1981 to 1985, and was later a key member of former President Ronald Reagan's cabinet.

Despite starting her public life as a Democrat, Ms Kirkpatrick became foreign policy adviser to Ronald Reagan during his 1980 presidential campaign.

She was known for her forceful stance at the UN, hitting back whenever US policies were attacked.

Ms Kirkpatrick was also a major architect of US policy in Central America during the Reagan era.

Academic career

Her death was announced at a staff meeting of the US mission to the UN.

Ambassador John Bolton asked for a moment of silence, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Her death at her home in Washington was also reported on the website of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank where she was a senior fellow.

Before entering politics, Dr Kirkpatrick pursued an academic career as professor of political science at Washington's Georgetown University.

After as serving as ambassador to the UN, Ms Kirkpatrick was a member of the National Security Council.

Ms Kirkpatrick returned to teaching political science in 1985, having joined the Republican Party.

In the late 1980s she served as a member President Reagan's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Defence Policy Review Board.

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