Born Jeane Duane Jordan in Duncan, Okla., in November 1926, Kirkpatrick graduated from Barnard College in 1948 and received a doctorate in political science from Columbia University in 1968. She also studied political science in Paris.
She was a leftist early in her academic career and later joined the Democratic Party, becoming active in party politics and political campaigns in the 1970s. But she grew disillusioned with the foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter and eventually left the party, aligning herself with the conservative policies of Ronald Reagan.
She joined the American Enterprise Institute as a senior fellow in 1978. She also spent long stretches of her career as a professor of government at Georgetown University.
Kirkpatrick advised Reagan on foreign policy during his 1980 presidential campaign, and he nominated her as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations after defeating Carter that year. Kirkpatrick served in the U.N. post from 1981 to 1985 and was a member of Reagan’s Cabinet.
After leaving the administration, she returned to the American Enterprise Institute and to Georgetown University.
At the United Nations, “she never forgot who she was representing,” Bolton told reporters this morning in a brief tribute to Kirkpatrick. “She was a great scholar. She was one of the most outstanding advocates of American foreign policy in our history.”
Don’t miss IRIS blog‘s post.
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 8 (UPI) — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton gave an emotional homage to former Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, just hours after her death was announced.
Speaking to reporters Friday at U.N. World Headquarters in New York, Bolton called Kirkpatrick a “great American” and noted the two had occupied adjacent offices when both served at the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank in Washington.
“She was a great American. She was a great ambassador for the United States here,” Bolton said. “She never forgot who she was representing.”
Bolton’s voice broke as he described how closely he had worked with her in the past.
Kirkpatrick was a strong defender of Bolton last year when President George W. Bush nominated him for the post of U.N. ambassador, calling him “one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered in Washington.”
Publius Pundit also posted on the news.
Update: Dymphna‘s tribute.