Brent Scowcroft was active in defense of the United States for several decades. First, in the military, in which he became a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Air Force. And later as a civilian, including serving as the national security advisor under two different U.S. presidents.

Scowcroft was a Republican, although he would also advise Democrats. Aside from Bill Clinton, Scowcroft played a significant role under every president from Nixon to Obama. On August 6, he died in Falls Church, Virginia.

Rose to the rank of lieutenant general in the Air Force

Brent Scowcroft was a native of Ogden, Utah. He would graduate from the United States Military Academy and be commissioned an officer in the Army Air Forces. Shortly after, it broke away from the Army and became the United States Air Force. In the new military branch, Scowcroft was a P-51 Mustang pilot.

He would undertake a variety of duties during his military career. Scowcroft also obtained a master's degree and later a doctorate from Columbia University in International Relations, CBS reports. His assignments included time with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Another was as an assistant air attache in Belgrade, Serbia, at the American Embassy.

In 1972, he became the military assistant to President Richard Nixon. The next year, he was named the president's deputy assistant for national security affairs and the deputy national security advisor. President Gerald Ford promoted him to a national security advisor in 1975. Shortly after that, Scowcroft retired from the Air Force, continuing in his role as a civilian.

Continued serving multiple presidents

Scowcroft did not continue as the national security advisor under President Jimmy Carter. However, he did do work for the administration in other ways. Including helping create START II. Scowcroft continued to serve in relatively lower-profile roles during President Ronald Reagan's tenure.

He returned to the spotlight under President George H.W. Bush. Who, as CNN indicates, was a personal friend of Scowcroft's. For a second time, he became the national security advisor. He held the position throughout Bush's presidency.

Under President George W. Bush, Scowcroft chaired the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. Despite public disagreements over police regarding Iraq, Scowcroft was a prominent supporter of Bush's administration. Afterward, he helped President Barack Obama form his national security team.

Scowcroft received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. In 1993, he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at a Buckingham Palace ceremony. Among the military decorations he received were the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Air Force Commendation Medal.

In 1951, he had married Marian Horner. They would have a daughter, Karen. Marian died in 1995.