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Samuel Richard “Sandy” Berger was born on October 28, 1945, and died on December 2, 2015.
He was an American political consultant who served as the United States National Security Advisor to President Bill Clinton from March 14, 1997 until January 20, 2001.
Before that, Samuel served as the Deputy National Security Advisor for the Clinton Administration from January 20, 1993 until March 14, 1997.
Samuel was born to a Jewish family in Millerton, New York, where his parents ran an Army-Navy store.
He graduated from the Webutuck High School in 1963, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1967 and his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1971.
At Cornell, Samuel was a member of the Quill and Dagger society with Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley.
Opposed to the Vietnam War, Samuel began working for Senator George McGovern’s presidential campaign in 1972.
While there, he met Bill Clinton, forming a friendship that would last for decades. Samuel later urged Clinton to run for president.
After the McGovern campaign, Samuel gained experience working in a variety of government posts, including serving as Special Assistant to Mayor of New York City John Lindsay and Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Harold Hughes of Iowa and Congressman Joseph Resnick of New York.
Samuel was also Deputy Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State from 1977 to 1980 under Secretary of State Cyrus Vance during the Carter administration.
After leaving the State Department, Samuel went on to join the law firm Hogan & Hartson, where he helped expand the firm’s international law practice. As a partner, he opened the firm’s first two international offices, in London and Brussels.
“Sandy Berger”, Nancy Pelosi said in 1997, “was the point-man at… Hogan & Hartson… for the trade office of the Chinese government. He was a lawyer-lobbyist.”
Samuel lived in the American University Park neighbourhood of Washington, D.C., was married to Susan Harrison Berger, and had three children.
Samuel Berger passed away due to cancer in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 2015 at the age of 70, more than a year after being diagnosed initially.
He was survived by his wife Susan, and three adult children.