Former Secretary of State dies

Source: Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher has died at the age of 85.

His family said he passed away Friday from complications of kidney and bladder cancer.

Christopher served as the nation's Deputy Secretary of State from February 22, 1977 to January 20, 1981. During his time in office, he was credited with negotiating the release of 52 American hostages in Iran.

Christopher is recognized for leading diplomatic talks that normalized relations between the United States and China.

The diplomat also helped win ratification of the Panama Canal treaties and lead the first interagency group on human rights.

Christopher was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

On January 20, 1993 Christopher was sworn in as the 63 Secretary of State.

The former secretary is survived by his wife Marie and four children.

Copyright 2011 CNN. All rights reserved.