Richard Holbrooke, a US diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, has died.
Holbrooke, whose forceful style earned him nicknames such as the Bulldozer and Raging Bull, was admitted to the hospital on Friday. He was 69.
The former US ambassador to the United Nations had surgery on Saturday to repair a tear in his aorta, the body's principal artery.
Calling Holbrooke "a true giant of American foreign policy," Obama paid homage to the veteran diplomat as "a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace."
Holbrooke deserves credit for much of the progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Mr Obama said.
He served under every Democratic president from John F Kennedy to Obama in a lengthy career that began with a foreign service posting in Vietnam in 1962 after graduating from Brown University, and included time as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam.
His sizable ego, tenacity and willingness to push hard for diplomatic results won him both admiration and animosity.
"If Richard calls you and asks you for something, just say yes," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said. "If you say no, you'll eventually get to yes, but the journey will be very painful."