Richard Holbrooke, a former U.S. ambassador and one of the most influential American diplomats of the past four decades, has died at age 69 after surgery to repair a torn aorta, reports Bloomberg news. Although Holbrooke is best known as a mediator during the war in Bosnia and in U.S. relations with China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he was also a staunch AIDS advocate. According to a PBS interview, he helped redefine the pandemic in terms of world security, and arranged a groundbreaking U.N. Security Council Session on the topic in 2000. He chaired the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and proposed an aggressive system of HIV testing and treatment.

To read the Bloomberg article, click here.

And to read an insightful 2005 interview with Holbrooke on PBS’s Frontline: The Age of AIDS, click here.