Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski dies aged 89

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1977
Image: Jack E. Kightlinger.

On Friday, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a professor and former U.S. National Security Advisor of the Jimmy Carter administration, died at the age of 89.

The New York Times reported he died at a Falls Church, Virginia hospital.

Brzezinski's daughter Mika announced her father's death via Instagram. Others paid tribute to Brzezinski, including Joe Scarborough, Mika's co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, via Twitter and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter via statement.

Brzezinski was born on March 28, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland. His father Tadeusz, a diplomat, moved his family from Europe to Montreal, Canada in 1938 before World War II. Tadeusz retired from politics in 1944 when the Communists occupied his home country, so his family settled in the Canadian countryside.

Zbigniew Brzezinski earned two degrees from Canada's McGill University and then, in the United States, earned a doctorate from Harvard University. He began his teaching career at Harvard and then Columbia University.

Throughout 1960s, Brzezinski worked for John F. Kennedy as his advisor and then the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. During the 1976 selections he advised Carter on foreign policy, then served as National Security Advisor (NSA) from 1977 to 1981, succeeding Henry Kissinger. As NSA, he assisted Carter in diplomatically handling world affairs, such as the Camp David Accords, 1978; normalizing US–China relations thought the late 1970s; the Iranian Revolution, which led to the Iran hostage crisis, 1979; and the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, 1979.

For his role in politics, Brzezinski earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and later the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2016. He has lately taught international studies at the Johns Hopkins University and worked as a counselor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Brzezinski wrote multiple books and some articles, including several from the 1950s.

Brzezinski was survived by his wife Eileen and his three children: daughter Mika and sons Ian and Mark.