Jeane Kirkpatrick was a United States Ambassador to the United Nations. She was born on November 19, 1926 in Duncan, Oklahoma. Kirkpatrick was the oldest child of Welcher and Leona Jordan; she has one younger brother, Jerry. She is possibly most famous for serving as Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy adviser and for being the first woman to be the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. EDUinReview will now take a look at the education background of this influential woman.
Kirkpatrick was raised in Oklahoma and attended Emerson Elementary School until she was 12-years old. Then, her family moved to Illinois where she attended and graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School.
Kirkpatrick was a very intelligent woman and had quite an impressive higher education. She earned her associates degree from Stephens College, and then continued her education at Barnard College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1948. Twenty years later, she earned her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
Kirkpatrick spoke three languages: English, French, and Spanish. She studied abroad in Paris, France at the Institut des Sciences Politiques of the University of Paris. This allowed her to improve her skills with the French language.
She began working at Georgetown University in 1967 and became a full professor in 1973 where she taught government. Kirkpatrick had very strong anti-communist views, which appealed to Ronald Reagan and he asked her to serve as his adviser on foreign policy while he was the President. She was also a member of the National Security Council and wanted to become Secretary of State. Unfortunately, she did not get along with George Schultz and, therefore, decided not to seek this position.
Kirkpatrick served one term as the United Nations Ambassador to the Soviet Union, from 1983-1985. In 1988, she considered running for president against George H.W. Bush because she felt he did not oppose Communism strongly enough. Instead, she decided to support Robert Dole in his campaign.
She married Evron Kirkpatrick in 1955. The couple had three sons and was married for almost 60 years. Jeane Kirkpatrick died on December 7, 2006 from congestive heart failure. She had been diagnosed with heart disease years earlier and had been in failing health for several years.