NSI Board Members Statement on the Passing of Samuel Pisar
Statement by National Security Initiative Board Members on the Passing of Samuel Pisar
July 29, 2015
The Board of the National Security Initiative, NSN’s sister educational organization, made the following statement regarding the passing of Samuel Pisar:
The Board of the National Security Initiative was saddened to hear of the passing of Samuel Pisar – a holocaust survivor, senior advisor to President John F. Kennedy, and the loving father of fellow Board member Leah Pisar.
Samuel was born in Poland, survived Auschwitz, Dachau, Sachsenhausen and other concentration camps before escaping a Nazi death march. He was eventually rescued by his French aunt and went on to study at Harvard and the Sorbonne. He established a successful career as an international lawyer always keeping his dedication to public service. Among several works, he wrote his internationally recognized memoir, Of Blood and Hope, and the narration for Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 “Kaddish”.
Leah, inspired by her father’s courage and commitment to diplomacy and justice, has played an active role in American foreign policy, serving as communications advisor to President Bill Clinton on National Security Council staff, and as a founding Board member of this organization. She also followed in her father’s footsteps as an author, publishing her first book in 2010 , Orage sur l’Atlantique, a look at Franco-American relations at the time of the second Iraq war.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pisar family, including Samuel’s wife Judith, his stepson Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and his three daughters Leah, Alexandra, and Helaina.
The National Security Initiative (NSI) is an independent policy institute and educational organization that connects decision-makers and opinion leaders with pragmatic and principled foreign policy options.