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Kati Marton Widow

Kati Marton Widow - It could be Quincy Jones. It could be Brian Stokes Mitchell. It could be Glenn Close. And, of course, it could be Hillary and Bill Clinton. I am talking about the people you could meet at Richard Holbrooke's place. He was a diplomat and a journalist and an editor and a writer and an amateur historian, the husband of Kati Marton, an author herself, and he was, in essence, a one-man salon. He had a thousand friends, and he deserved every one of them.

I was one of those friends -- not all that close, but close enough. We had met, as best as I can recall, in a typical Holbrooke fashion, at the screening of a movie. It was George Stevens Jr's film about his father, the Hollywood director George Stevens, and Holbrooke and I had been asked by Stevens to see an early print of the movie. I remember the movie -- it is a fine work of art -- but what stays with me from that day is Holbrooke's voluminous knowledge of film. He seemed to have seen every film ever made and learned something from each one.

Kati Marton Widow

I had heard of Holbrooke, of course. By his late 20s, he was already a mythical figure. He had been in Vietnam. He has been the Peace Corps chief in Morocco. He has been on the White House staff and had edited Foreign Policy magazine. Holbrooke was not a mere man. He was some sort of human key: if you knew him, he could unlock much of the world for you.
"Have you read Rebecca West's "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon??" Holbrooke once asked me. I was writing about the war in the former Yugoslavia, and the Balkans was the subject of the West book. I went out and got the thing. In paperback it is 1181 pages long -- to this day not a single one of then read by me. I am sure Holbrooke read them all. What's more, if I asked him, I'm sure he could quote a passage or two. He was brilliant. In fact, he was that brilliant.

Kati Marton Widow


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