Warren Christopher, Ex-Secretary of State, Dies at 85

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Warren M. Christopher, the secretary of state in President Bill Clinton’s first term and the chief negotiator for the 1981 release of American hostages in Iran, died Friday night in Los Angeles. He was 85.

A spokeswoman for O’Melveny & Myers, the law firm where Mr. Christopher was a senior partner, confirmed his death, according to The Associated Press. He had been ill with kidney and bladder cancer.

Methodical and self-effacing, Mr. Christopher alternated for nearly five decades between top echelons of both the federal government and legal and political life in California. Among other things, he served as administration point man with Congress in winning ratification of Panama Canal treaties, presided over normalization of diplomatic relations with China and conducted repeated negotiations involving the Middle East and the Balkans.

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