Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, dies at 89
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, has died, his daughter announced on social media.
“My father passed away peacefully tonight. He was known to his friends as Zbig, to his grandchildren as Chief and to his wife as the enduring love of her life. I just knew his as the most inspiring, loving and devoted father any girl could ever have. I love you Dad #HailToTheChief,” his daughter Mika, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” wrote on Instagram.
He died Friday at the age of 89.
Brzezinski served as Carter’s principal foreign policy adviser during the 1976 campaign and as national security adviser from 1977-1981. In his role, he was involved in brokering the Camp David Accords, the signing of the SALT II treaty and wrestling with Iran’s transition from a US ally to an anti-Western Islamic republic.
Carter described Brzezinski as brilliant, dedicated, and loyal.
“Rosalynn and I are saddened by the death of Zbigniew Brzezinski. He was an important part of our lives for more than four decades and was a superb public servant,” the former president said in a statement.
Carter asked Brzezinski to join his team during his first presidential campaign after he studied Brzezinski’s “impressive background and his scholarly and political writings.”
“I liked him immediately, and we developed an excellent personal relationship. He was inquisitive, innovative, and a natural choice as my national security advisor when I became president,” Carter said in the statement.
Brzezinski helped Carter set “vital foreign policy goals” and became a “source of stimulation” for the departments of defense and state, the former president wrote.
“He was brilliant, dedicated, and loyal, and remained a close advisor to my work at The Carter Center. I will miss him,” Carter said.
Brzezinski, a U.S. international relations scholar, studied at McGill University in Montreal and earned a doctorate degree in political science at Harvard University.
He also served as foreign affairs adviser to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1981, Brzezinski was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the normalization of US-China relations and his contributions to the country’s human rights and national security policies.
Brzezinski was remembered by his daughter’s co-host, Joe Scarborough.
“Dr. Brzezinski fought tirelessly to bring freedom to his homeland of Poland. He was a fierce Cold Warrior against Russian aggression,” Scarborough wrote on Twitter.
More recently, Brzezinski was senior research professor of international relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a counselor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
In 2016, Brzezinski received the US Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the agency’s highest civilian honor.