Mr Christopher was a loyal Democrat and fastidious lawyer. He was best remembered for his efforts in releasing American hostages in Iran in 1981
. He was also instrumental in bringing about peace in the Bosnia
region throughout the 1990s. His key negotiating skills was to listen carefully - he once said, "Careful listening may be the secret weapon, I observed some time ago that I was better at listening than at talking."
He began his career as a successful lawyer in Los Angeles just after the end of the Second World War. He also served as a deputy attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968
, reports BBC Politics.
His popularity really came to light during the hostage crisis when 52 US embassy staff were held for 444 days in Iran in 1981. His efforts to negotiate their release won him America's highest honour for a civilian, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He was replaced as US-envoy in 1997 by Madeleine Albright. President Bill Clinton said of Mr Christopher, "He had left the mark of his hand on history".
He died last night (Friday) in his Californian home after complications from bowel cancer.