Zbigniew Brzezinski, the political scientist who served as the National Security Adviser during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, died on Friday night at the age of 89.
The announcement was made by his daughter Mika on Instagram, where she wrote “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.”
Brzezinski’s career was as lengthy as it was influential, as he was a mainstay in foreign policy and international relations.That being said, his three children have also proven to be influential in the political world. Here are five fast facts you need to know about Brzezinski’s children.
1. His Daughter Mika Is the Co-host of ‘Morning Joe’
Mika, the youngest child of Zbigniew and his wife Emilie, was born in 1967 in New York City. After graduating from Williams College in 1989, Mika began pursuing a career in journalism, first as an assistant on ABC’s World News This Morning and then with WTIC-TV/WTIC-DT in Hartford, Connecticut. While there, she honed her skills as a reporter, and subsequently joined WFSB-TV in 1995.
In 1997, she served as a news anchor for the overnight program Up to the Minute on CBS.
In 2001, she co-hosted the weekly afternoon show HomePage alongside Gina Gaston and Ashleigh Banfield, Entertainment Weekly jokingly referred to as the trio as “the Powerpuff Girls of journalism.” Mika would be thrust into the global spotlight later that year, as she was on the scene during the September 11th attacks. She was the principal ‘Ground Zero’ reporter during the ordeal, and was broadcasting live when the South Tower collapsed.
Since 2011, Mika has been the co-host of the show Morning Joe opposite Joe Scarborough. Her father appeared several times as a guest.
2. His Son Mark Is A Former U.S. Ambassador
Mark, the middle child, was born in 1965. Unlike his sister, who pursued a career in journalism, Mark followed in his father’s footsteps by graduating from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in government. He would go on to earn a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School, and a D.Phil in political science from Oxford University.
After college, Mark worked as a corporate associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP in Washington from 1996 to 1999. After this, however, in a professional move that once again echoed his father, Mark joined onto the Clinton Administration, where he served as a director of Russian and European affairs and Southeast European Affairs of the National Security Council at the White House until Clinton’s term came to close in 2001. Mark returned to the White House under President Barack Obama, where he started off as a foreign policy advisor and was later appointed to be the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. He served from 2011 to 2015.
Mark Brzezinski currently works as a lawyer.
3. His Son Ian Is the Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Ian, the oldest child, was born in 1963. Like his mother before him, and his sister after him, he attended Williams College and subsequently got at a job as a support analyst at the National Security Council in 1986. He would spent the next handful of years bouncing between various government positions, including time membership on the Policy Planning Staff in the Department of Defense from 1991 to 1993, and as a consultant for the Center for Naval Analysis in 1991 and 1992.
Ian’s most distinguishing position was come in 2001, when he was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush. He served until 2005. In this time, he was awarded numerous honors, including the Romanian Medal for National Service, Order of Commander, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
Ian Brzezinski currently serves as a Strategic Advisors Group at the Atlantic Council, a position he has held since 2010.
4. He Was At Odds With Mika’s Fiancé, Joe Scarborough
Brzezinski was never one to hold his tongue, and this was particularly evident whenever he appeared on his daughter’s talk show Morning Joe. In a 2014 appearance, he jokingly compared Mika to the family dog, saying “You remind me in terms of personality of someone that we nowadays in our household call Daisy. Very cute, charming, a bit unpredictable… I won’t go into details.” Mika retorted: “Thanks dad, I’m sort of diminished now.”
Brzezinski also got into it with co-host Joe Scarborough, as he verbalized in a 2008 appearance, telling Scarborough “You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it’s almost embarrassing to listen to you.” He also called the host “stunningly superficial.” The two would go on to have a better relationship, however, and Scarborough became engaged to Mika early this year.
5. He Has Two Grandchildren
Brzezinski is also survived by two grandchildren from his daughter Mika and her ex-husband Jim Hoffer, whom she was married to from 1993 to 2016. Emilie Hoffer, born in 1996 and named after Mika’s mother, is currently following in the family business, as she is a political science major at John Hopkins’ University, and is set to graduate in 2018. Emilie is also part of the school’s varsity cross country team.
Carlie, born 1998, is currently attending Dartmouth College like her uncle Mark, and is scheduled to graduate in 2020. In 2015, she worked as an intern on her mother’s show Morning Joe.