Richard Holbrooke, a brilliant and feisty US diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan, and served as President Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, died today, an administration official said. He was 69. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the family had yet to make a formal announcement of Holbrooke's death.
Holbrooke, whose forceful style earned him nicknames such as "The Bulldozer" or "Raging Bull," was admitted to the hospital on Friday after becoming ill at the State Department. The former US ambassador to the UN had surgery Saturday to repair a tear in his aorta. Earlier today, Obama praised Holbrooke for making America safer. "He is simply one of the giants of American foreign policy," Obama said during a holiday reception at the State Department.