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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on the Passing of Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger

I am profoundly saddened by the passing of my dear friend and predecessor, Sandy Berger.  Here, at the NSC staff, many of us were deeply privileged to serve with Sandy, and we are all mourning his loss.  I first worked with Sandy during his distinguished tenure as Deputy National Security Advisor and then as National Security Advisor.  In every year since, I have been blessed to be able to count on his personal support, unwavering friendship, wisdom and advice.

Sandy was a remarkable man -- incredibly funny, warm, passionate, brilliant, and unfailingly loyal.  He gave everything to those he loved -- from his extraordinary family to his many friends, colleagues and protégés.  There perhaps is no greater professional tribute to Sandy than the enduring admiration and gratitude of a whole generation of foreign policy experts and practitioners whom he nurtured, challenged and mentored.  I am proud to be among those who can say that I owe a great deal of what I have learned to Sandy and, like so many, I continued to rely on him for guidance and advice until the very end. 

Sandy lived and worked as his favorite ball players did—by leaving everything on the field.  Because of Sandy, our ties with countries like Japan, India and China are stronger, our bonds with Africa are deeper, and the people of the Balkans are living side by side in peace.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sandy’s family—his wife Susan, his cherished children Debby, Alex, and Sarah, and the five grandchildren he so adored.  We will all miss Sandy dearly, but his legacy lives on in his extraordinary contributions to our country and to our world.