|Full Name||Antony John Blinken The New York Times|
|Profession||American Government Official|
|Famous For||Being the 71st United States Secretary of State|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 178 cm
in meters- 1.78 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 10”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper|
|Career (in American Government)|
|Major Designations||• National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States (January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2013)
• Deputy National Security Advisor (from 2013 to 2015)
• Deputy Secretary of State (January 9, 2015 – January 20, 2017)
• Secretary of State (January 26, 2021-present)
|Date of Birth||April 16, 1962 (Monday)|
|Age (as of 2020)||58 Years|
|Birthplace||Yonkers, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Hometown||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|School||• Dalton School, New York
• École Jeannine Manuel, Paris
|College/University||• Harvard University
• Columbia Law School
|Educational Qualification(s) Jewish Virtual Library||• Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in 1984
• J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1988
|Religion||Judaism Jewish Virtual Library
Note: In an interview, his father, Donal M. Blinken, quoted that Antony was not religious. The Washington Post
|Ethnicity||Jewish Jewish Virtual Library|
|Food Habit||Non-vegetarian The University of Chicago Institute of Politics|
|Political Inclination||The Democratic Party Financial Times|
|Hobbies||Playing the Guitar, Singing, Playing Soccer|
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||March 2, 2002 (Saturday); 3:00 pm|
|Marriage Place||Georgetown’s Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Washington Washington Life|
|Wife/Spouse||Evan Ryan (an American public servant)
|Parents||Father- Donald M. Blinken (investment banker and a retired United States Ambassador to Hungary)
Mother- Judith Pisar (the president of Arts France-USA, a nonprofit organization)
Stepfather- Samuel Pisar (a Polish-born American lawyer, author, and Holocaust survivor; died of pneumonia at the age of 86 on July 27, 2015, in Manhattan)
Stepmother- Vera Blinken (interior designer and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee since 1978)
|Music Band||Pink Floyd, Beatles|
|Food||Pizza, Smoked Salmon|
|Author(s)||Philip Roth, Milan Kundera, Michael Chabon, David McCullough, Evan Morris|
|Fictional Character(s)||Phil Dunphy, Jack Bauer|
|Motto||“There’s such a fine line between clever and stupid” from Spinal Tap|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Antony Blinken
- Antony Blinken is an American government official who is the 71st United States Secretary of State. He was nominated by Joe Biden as Secretary of State in November 2020. Earlier, he served as the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States from 2015 to 2017. Blinken is also known for serving many key positions in the Obama administration, like Deputy National Security Adviser, Deputy Assistant to the President, and National Security Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.
- His mother, Judith, is from Paris, while his father, Donald M. Blinken, is from New York.
- Apart from being an investment banker, his father was also the board chairman of the State University of New York from 1978 to 1990 who later served as ambassador to Hungary.
- Blinken spent his childhood in New York City where he attended Dalton School. According to his mother, Judith, during his interview at Dalton School as a kindergartener, when a teacher asked Blinken what he thought of a painting on the wall, he replied,
Some people would call it a painting, but I would call it a picture.”
- In 1970, his parents, Judith and Donald, divorced, and his mother later married a Polish-born American lawyer, author, and Holocaust survivor, Samuel Pisar, who had survived both the Auschwitz and Dachau camps. Reportedly, Blinken’s mother and Samuel Pisar first met each other at a New York soiree in 1968.
- In 1971, Antony Blinken, along with his divorced mother and her new husband Samuel Pisar, moved to Paris, France, where he attended École Jeannine Manuel, a private co-educational day school. His high-school yearbook has a photograph of Blinken with an inscription of Pink Floyd lyrics,
just another brick in the wall”
- Reportedly, while growing up, Blinken would passionately listen to his stepfather’s (Samuel Pisar) experience surviving Auschwitz and Dachau. In an interview, while talking about this, Samuel Pisar said,
He Wanted to know. He took in what had happened to me when I was his age, and I think it impressed him and it gave him another dimension, another look at the world and what can happen here. When he has to worry today about poison gas in Syria, he almost inevitably thinks about the gas with which my entire family was eliminated.”
- During his stay in Paris, Blinken aspired to become a filmmaker, and he organized a film festival. In an interview, his father, Donald M. Blinken, commented on Tony’s filmmaking ambition, he said,
Everyone age 21 wants to make films.”
- Reportedly, Blinken was confused between pursuing the arts and politics as a career option, and eventually, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.
- During his stay at Harvard, Blinken joined The Harvard Crimson, the daily student newspaper of Harvard University, and he also edited the paper. Jewish Virtual Library
- While in Harvard, Blinken joined Errol Louis, one of the highly regarded New York political reporters, to edit the weekly art magazine, What Is To Be Done.
- In 1984, Blinken attended the Los Angeles Olympics with his stepfather, Samuel Pisar, who was the then general counsel of the International Olympic Committee, and the same year, he graduated from Harvard.
- In 1987, Praeger published Blinken’s Harvard senior thesis, “Ally vs. Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis.”
- In 1988, Blinken earned a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. Before attending Columbia Law School, Blinken had briefly reported for The New Republic, an American magazine of commentary on politics, contemporary culture, and the arts. Jewish Virtual Library
- After working as a summer associate in the law offices of Rogers & Wells in New York in 1987, Blinken moved to Paris where he briefly practiced law. The Washington Post
- Antony Blinken is an archaic supporter of the Democratic Party, and he helped his father raise money for Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential run. The Washington Post
- When the 39-year-old Antony Blinken got married to a 30-year-old colleague from a D.C.-area middle-class, Irish Catholic family, Evan Ryan, on March 2, 2002, it was a bi-denominational ceremony, which was officiated by both a rabbi and priest. The wedding was attended by many notable guests including Hillary Clinton. While giving thanks to people at his wedding, Blinken said,
- Blinken’s wife, Evan Maureen Ryan, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony J. Ryan Jr. of Alexandria, and she served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) from 2013 to 2017. Evan Ryan has also served as the assistant for intergovernmental affairs and public liaison for Vice President Joe Biden.
- Antony Blinken and Evan Ryan first met each other in 1995 at the White House, where Ms. Ryan was “special assistant” to Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, while Mr. Blinken was a special assistant to President Bill Clinton and the senior director for speechwriting.
- Antony Blinken has more than two decades of experience working in close quarters in the Clinton and Bush administrations during which he held many significant positions including the United States National Security Council staff at the White House (from 1994 to 2001), Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and NSC Senior Director for Speechwriting (from 1994 to 1998), and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Canadian Affairs (from 1999 to 2001).
- Reportedly, it was a friend of his stepfather (Samuel Pisar) who had suggested Blinken apply for an opening at the State Department, and later, Stephen Oxman, then the assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs, hired Blinken. The Washington Post
- After Robert Boorstin, then White House speechwriter, lured him to the National Security Council staff, Blinken went on to become the president’s chief foreign policy speechwriter. In an interview, while giving detail about it, Berger, then the deputy national security adviser, said,
I was looking for somebody who both could write speeches for President Clinton and think a little bit more broadly about where we were headed more strategically.”
- Bill Clinton, during his tenure as the president, appointed Blinken’s uncle, Alan, as ambassador to Belgium, and his father, Donald M. Blinken, as ambassador to Hungary.
- In 2000, after the ascendency of George W. Bush as the president of the United States, Antony Blinken was pushed out of the government, and then, he briefly worked as a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Later, in 2002, he was appointed as the staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and he kept the post until 2008 during which he worked on various strategic issues, such as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, relations with Pakistan, and nuclear disarmament. Reportedly, this was the time, when Blinken came close to Joe Biden for the first time.
- In 2008, Blinken actively campaigned for Joe Biden’s presidential run; however, Biden’s run couldn’t turn into success, and then, Blinken became a member of the Obama-Biden presidential transition team.
- After the successful presidential run of Barack Obama in 2008, Obama entrusted Joe Biden and gave him key portfolios including the administration’s Iraq policy, a policy diligently overseen by Antony Blinken. In an interview, while praising Blinken, Biden said,
We would not have gotten out of Iraq in a way that left the government with a fighting chance to make it without Tony Blinken’s hard work. He was the go-to guy. He still is the go-to guy.”
- Soon, Blinken became a confidante of Obama, and he was also inducted into Obama’s small circle of national security experts.
- From 2009 to 2013, Blinken served as Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President during which he became pivotal in crafting U.S. policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Iranian nuclear program.
- Blinken worked closely in Obama’s mission to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011. In an interview, while praising Obama for this unprecedented feat, Blinken said,
I’ve never seen a more courageous decision made by a leader.”
- On December 16, 2014, Blinken replaced retiring William Joseph Burns to become the new Deputy Secretary of State.
- Blinken played a pivotal role in drafting Syria policy, and he was also instrumental in the response to the 2014 Crimean Crisis by the Obama administration.
- In June 2014, Blinken delivered a speech at the Brookings Institution in which he criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said,
The first prong is necessary to deter oligarchs from risking American-based assets, while the latter prong is necessary to demonstrate to the Russian people that there is a very hefty fine for supporting international criminals like Putin.”
- Mr. Blinken, for his stint in the Obama administration, has earned laurels from many including Nick Burns, who has known Mr. Blinken since the Clinton administration. Mr. Burns says,
He was at the table for all of the important meetings in the Obama administration for eight years and has unique insight into the full range of national security issues.”
- Apart from holding key portfolios in various governments in the United States, Mr. Blinken has stakes in the private sector also. In 2017, he started a political strategy advising firm, WestExec Advisors, along with Michèle Flournoy, Sergio Aguirre, and Nitin Chadda. He was also a partner of Pine Island Capital Partners, a private equity firm that he quit to serve as a senior foreign policy advisor with the Biden campaign in 2020.
- According to Blinken, he played ice hockey in high school. The University of Chicago Institute of Politics
- During adolescence, Blinken briefly did an internship at The New Republic; writing critical pieces of the Reagan administration and Republican hedging on apartheid. The Washington Post
- According to Robert Malley, the head of International Crisis Group and a high-school classmate of Mr. Blinken, since childhood, Blinken has been spreading American values across the world, Mr. Malley says,
Tony was an American in Paris – and both terms are key. He was very conscious of being an American and he believed in Us values. But he also understood how US policy affects the rest of the world because he lived overseas and witnessed how others view America. At that time, the US was not particularly popular in Europe, and in France in particular. Tony navigated those two universes.” Financial Times
- Blinken has an artist within, and even during the intense foreign policy schedules, he always takes out time to get himself engaged in cultural pursuits, and a testimony to this is Abel Ferrara’s “The Addiction,” a 1995 gritty New York vampire movie starring Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken in which Antony Blinken earned credits as an associate producer. The Washington Post
- He is a passionate music lover and a trained guitarist. During his stay at the White House, he would often play the guitar to jam the blues and Beatles covers with White House press secretary Jay Carney and other Washington pals. Reportedly, Blinken actively uses Spotify where he has uploaded two of his songs. Financial Times
- Blinken often writes opinion for the New York Times and is also a global affairs analyst for CNN. The University of Chicago Institute of Politics
- Mr. Blinken loves non-fiction writing of different kinds. The University of Chicago Institute of Politics
- Blinken is so close to Joe Biden that he is often termed as Biden’s “alter ego.” Financial Times