Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, died Friday night, his daughter has confirmed. He was 89.
“My father passed away peacefully tonight,” Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose predecessor was Henry Kissinger, helped topple economic barriers between the Soviet Union, China and the West.
He also helped Carter facilitate a working and productive relationship between Egyptian and Israeli leaders, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, leading to the Camp David accords. The Iranian hostage crisis also was under Brzezinski’s watch.
Former President Carter said in a statement Friday night, “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. Having studied Zbig’s impressive background and his scholarly and political writings, I called on him to advise me on foreign policy issues during my first presidential campaign.
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.
He helped me set vital foreign policy goals, was a source of stimulation for the departments of defense and state, and everyone valued his opinion.”
Carter added, “He played an essential role in all the key foreign policy events of my administration, including normalization of relations with China, signing of the SALT II treaty, brokering the Camp David Accords, and the Panama Canal treaties, among others.
He was brilliant, dedicated, and loyal, and remained a close advisor to my work at The Carter Center. I will miss him.”
Brzezinski was born in Warsaw on March 28, 1928. His father, Tadeusz, was a diplomat who took his family to France, then to Germany during the 1930s and then to Canada prior to World War II.
In another Instagram post, Mika Brzezinski posted a photo of her parents, writing, “My father and mother both escaped Europe before the start of World War II.
They met in college and we’re inseparable in the 6 decades that followed. Here they are in Greece so many years ago. But that same love kept them close through tonight when my dad passed away. We love you Dad.”
Mika Brzezinski also tweeted a photo of her family on a boat with her father at the wheel, writing, “Chief at the helm! We love you, Dad, and will always be grateful for the love and devotion you showed us all. #HailToTheChief.”
Chief at the helm!
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) May 27, 2017