In Memoriam Arnaud de Borchgrave

In March 2015, we lost our friend and colleague, Arnaud de Borchgrave. Arnaud was a true patriot whose life’s work was of immeasurable value to his country, and to the world.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, CSIS senior adviser and director of the Transnational Threats Project has died at the age of 88. A World War II D-Day veteran and award-winning former Senior Editor and Chief Foreign Correspondent of Newsweek Magazine de Borchgrave also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Times and as President and CEO of UPI.

“Arnaud made an enormous impact on the world, and CSIS has benefited immeasurably since he joined us in 2001,” said John J. Hamre, president and CEO at CSIS. “Arnaud dedicated his life to the pursuit of truth, and with his passing we celebrate this legacy.”

Born in Belgium in 1926, de Borchgrave became an American citizen in 1957. Arnaud de Borchgrave's reporting included seven tours of duty in Vietnam—from the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 through the fall of Saigon in 1975—and ground breaking interviews including Charles De Gaulle, the Shah of Iran, Lee Kuan Yew, President Reagan, Saddam Hussein, Benazir Bhutto, and Muammar Gaddafi.

De Borchgrave pioneered dialogues between heads of state on opposite sides of explosive international issues by interviewing Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in 1969, and in 1971 conducting back-to-back interviews with President Sadat and Prime Minister Golda Meir.

In 1979-80, he covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and returned again in June 2001 to interview Taliban commander Mullah Omar.

His awards include Best Magazine Reporting from Abroad, Best Magazine Interpretation of Foreign Affairs and three New York Newspaper Guild Page One Awards for foreign reporting. In 1981, de Borchgrave received the World Business Council's Medal of Honor and in 1985, he was awarded the George Washington Medal of Honor for Excellence in Published Works.

King Baudouin of Belgium bestowed upon de Borchgrave the Commander of the Order of Leopold II in 1990, and in 2008 King Albert II awarded him the Commander of the Order of the Crown. In July 2014, de Borchgrave received the Legion of Honor from the President of France in recognition of his personal contribution to the liberation of France during the Second World War.