Condoleezza Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up while the South was racially segregated. Her father instilled in his daughter that black people would have to prove themselves worthy of advancement, and would simply have to be “twice as good” to overcome injustices built into the system.

Condoleezza began to learn French, music, figure skating and ballet at the age of three. At the age of fifteen, she began piano classes with the goal of becoming a concert pianist. She accompanied cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2002 for the National Medal of Arts Awards.

Gaining a master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD from the University of Denver, she served as provost at Stanford University for 6 years to 1999 and National Security Advisor in 2000.

Dr Rice was appointed Secretary of State in the administration of US President George W. Bush from 2001 – 2005, the first ever female African-American. In 2004 and 2005, she was ranked as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.

“What happens at 50, more or less, you lose what you need to create another person, to sustain another person; you keep what you need to sustain yourself. And there’s something wonderful about that.”