Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor and political scientist, dead at 89

Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Polish-American political scientist and adviser to several U.S. presidents, died Friday at 89. He was 89 years old.

His death was announced by his daughter, Mika Brzezinski, who's a co-host on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"My father passed away peacefully tonight", she wrote on an Instagram photo of her daughters Carlie and Emilie with their grandfather.

Carter and his wife Rosalynn expressed their condolences, calling Brzezinski "an important part of our lives for more than four decades" and "a superb public servant".

The Polish-born academic was Carter's national security adviser during the Iranian hostage crisis.

Kissinger, Mr. Brzezinski was a foreign-born scholar (he in Poland, Mr. Kissinger in Germany) with considerable influence in global affairs, both before and long after his official tour of duty in the White House.

Since his days as a student at McGill University and later Harvard University where he studied Soviet politics, Brzezinski went on to become a powerful voice against Soviet power.

"He helped me set vital foreign policy goals, was a source of stimulation for the departments of defence and state, and everyone valued his opinion". Unlike Kissinger, Brzezinski tried to shift the central focus of US policy away from what he called a "preoccupation" with the USSR and toward what he called trilateral cooperation among North America, Western Europe and Japan.

He was born in Warsaw, Poland, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1958. The elder Brzezinski was a Polish-American diplomat who had advised campaigns from Hubert Humphrey and Barack Obama.

The former advisor was known for clashing with colleagues, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.

The national security adviser came under scrutiny for his handling of the Iran hostage crisis and other issues involving the Soviet Union during the Carter administration.

  • Leroy Wright