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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the death of his 96-year-old father Donald Blinken on Thursday night, calling him “a source of love and inspiration” to his family.
Blinken announced the death from his personal Twitter account while attending the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York. His father passed away earlier that day in the Long Island town of East Hampton, New York.
“Dad served his city, state and country,” Blinken wrote. “Dad inspired me to public service. He lived with decency, dignity and modesty.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken seen standing with his father Donald Blinken (far right), who served as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, in a 2017 photo with now-President Joe Biden. (Coppola/Getty Images)
“He loved his wife Vera and his family. He built a wonderful life and gave me a wonderful life,” the grieving son added. “I love you dad.”
The Secretary of State also proudly listed of the nonagenarian’s accomplishments, which included serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps and serving as chair of the State University of New York (SUNY).
Donald Blinken was born in New York City in 1925. He attended Harvard University and graduated in 1948. He also co-founded EM Warburg, Pincus & Co., an investment banking firm.
Vera Blinken and Donald Blinken attend My Fair Lady NY Philharmonic Benefit Gala at Lincoln Center on March 7, 2007, in New York City. (Stephanie Halmos/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Most notably, Donald Blinken served as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 1994 to 1997. After Blinken and his wife Vera gave a sizable donation to Hungary’s Open Society Archives, the archival institution named itself in the couple’s honor.