West News Wire: Donald Blinken, a former U.S. ambassador, investment banker, and collector of modern art, passed away on Thursday. He was the father of Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He was 96. 

While at the yearly UN General Assembly, Blinken tweeted a number of times to share the news of his father’s passing. 

My father Donald Blinken was a parent and grandfather, a source of love and inspiration for my family, he stated. 

“Dad served his city, state, and nation,” Blinken said. “He was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, a U.S. ambassador, president of the Mark Rothko Foundation, (head of the board) of the State University of New York. 

According to a State Department representative, Donald Blinken passed away quietly at his home in East Hampton, Long Island. 

“Dad inspired me to public service,” Blinken wrote. “He lived with decency, dignity and modesty. He loved his wife Vera and his family. He built a wonderful life and gave me a wonderful life. I love you dad.” 

Antony Blinken canceled several events he was to attend at the UN General Assembly on Thursday evening due to his father’s deteriorating medical condition and his schedule there on Friday will be adjusted to account for family commitments, the State Department official said. 

Donald Blinken served as the chairman of the State University of New York system from 1978 to 1990 and was U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 1994 to 1997, during the Clinton administration. 

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