Warren Christopher dies at 85

Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher has died at 85, The Associated Press reports.

Christopher, who worked at the State Department under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, died of complication from bladder and kidney cancer, according to report.

In 1981, he helped to negotiate the release of American hostages held in Iran.

As the head of Clinton's State Department, Christopher worked for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and negotiated a settlement to end the Bosnian war in 1995.

After leaving the State Department, Christopher managed the Florida recount effort for Vice President Al Gore in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

As news of his death has spread, Democratic leaders have been issuing statements honoring Christopher.

President Obama praised Christopher's long service to the nation:

Deeply dedicated to serving his country, Warren's career ranged from the naval reserve in World War II to a clerkship at the Supreme Court to the practice of law and politics in California and Washington.  And as President Clinton's Secretary of State, he was a resolute pursuer of peace, leading negotiations with regard to the Middle East and the Balkans, including the Dayton Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia.  Warren Christopher was a skillful diplomat, a steadfast public servant, and a faithful American.

Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement expressing her sadness at the loss of her predecessor:

I was deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and predecessor Warren Christopher. The longer I spend in this job, the deeper my appreciation grows for the giants who came before. Warren was a diplomat’s diplomat – talented, dedicated and exceptionally wise. As well as anyone in his generation, he understood the subtle interplay of national interests, fundamental values and personal dynamics that drive diplomacy. Along with the late Richard Holbrooke, Warren led the effort to bring peace to the Balkans in the 1990s. Over his long career in public service, he also helped establish diplomatic relations with China, oversaw the expansion of NATO, worked tirelessly for peace in the Middle East, and championed human rights around the world. America is safer and the world is more peaceful because of his service.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) noted that Christopher's efforts on behalf of the United States had a global effect:

When Warren Christopher finished out his time as one of the most extensively-traveled diplomats in the history of this country, he said he was pleased to have played a role in making the world safer. We are grateful that he played that role, too, whether he was securing the freedom of American hostages from Iran or negotiating peace in Bosnia. He was an outstanding diplomat and an incredible scholar. But he was also a good friend to me and he will be missed.

This story was updated at 10:45 a.m.