Birthplace: New York City
Deathplace: Washington, D.C.
A career diplomat well known within the Washington Beltway, Holbrooke became a familiar face to the rest of the country when he brokered a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia, leading to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. Educated at Brown, Holbrooke joined the U.S. State Department shortly after graduation and has worked in some of their most challenging assignments. Between stints at State, he developed a formidable reputation on Wall Street where he cultivated a career in investment banking, making millions of dollars. In August 1999, Holbrooke was confirmed by the Senate as chief American diplomat to the United Nations, ending a 14-monthlong nomination process that languished amid partisan bickering and political maneuvering. He served as the United States' chief representative to the United Nations until 2001. When Barack Obama took office, Holbrooke had hoped to become Secretary of State, but the job was given to Hillary Clinton and she became his boss. Holbrooke's final assignment was the difficult task of trying to bring stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He advocated increasing not only the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan, but also the level of humanitarian and development aid.