Henry Kissinger, who served as the former Secretary of State of the United States and was known for his controversial work in the realm of US foreign policy during the Cold War, passed away at the age of 100.
During the administrations of both Nixon and Ford, he was the most senior diplomat and national security adviser for the United States of America.
Even though he left power in the middle of the 1970s, he remained to be consulted by successive generations of leaders for decades after his departure.
His residence in Connecticut was the location of the former diplomat who was born in Germany.
Henry Kissinger Associates, the policy consulting that he founded, issued a statement on Wednesday night that did not include any information regarding the cause of death.
During the tributes, former President George W. Bush of the United States of America stated that the United States had “lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs.”
The personal narrative of Henry Kissinger was described as “so unique – and so thoroughly American” by the daughters of President Richard Nixon, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower.
“Henry Kissinger will long be remembered for his many achievements in advancing the cause of peace,” according to the press release. “But it was his character that we will never forget.”
When his family fled the Nazis in 1938, the son of the school teacher arrived in the United States for the first time. He was born in Germany in 1923. His natural Bavarian accent was never completely dissipated by him.
After becoming a citizen of the United States in 1943, he went on to serve in the United States Army for a period of three years and then in the Counter Intelligence Corps.
After completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as his doctoral studies, he went on to teach international relations at Harvard.
In 1969, President Nixon elevated him to the position of national security adviser, which provided him with a significant amount of influence over the foreign policy of the United States.
During his eight years as both national security adviser and secretary of state between 1969 and 1977, the United States of America finally ended its involvement in the Vietnam War, opened up relations with China, and brought about a cessation of hostilities in the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East in 1973 between Egypt and Syria on the one hand and Israel on the other.
It was an endeavor that resulted in the conception of the concept of shuttle diplomacy.
Weibo, a social media network, quickly became the tool of choice for spreading the news of Kissinger’s passing in China, a country in which he enjoyed enduring popularity.
He was described as “an old friend of the Chinese people” in the obituary that was published by China News.
Beijing Central Television referred to him as “a legendary diplomat” and a “living fossil” since he had been instrumental in the development of relations between the United States and China.
However, over the course of his career, Kissinger was also subjected to blistering criticism from individuals who accused him of prioritizing competition with the Soviet Union over human rights and of providing backing to repressive regimes all over the world, including Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
Kissinger, on the other hand, did not take consideration of this critique.
“That’s a reflection of their ignorance,” the politician with a gravelly voice exclaimed in an interview with CBS, which took place just a few days before he turned 100 years old.
During the year 1973, he was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize with Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam, who declined to accept the prize.
It was because of the prize that two members of the Nobel committee decided to step down.
Even after leaving his position in the government in 1977, Kissinger remained to be a prolific commenter on matters pertaining to public affairs. In addition to being sought out by lawmakers, his advice was sought out by a dozen presidents of the United States, ranging from John F. Kennedy to Joe Biden.
It is noteworthy that Kissinger is the only American who has had direct interactions with every single Chinese leader, beginning with Mao Zedong and ending with Xi Jinping.
Not only did he write 21 books, but he also sat on the boards of directors of a number of different companies and was a regular participant in forums to discuss foreign policy and security.
Even after reaching the age of 100, Kissinger continued to lead an active life. This included a surprise trip to Beijing in July to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Despite a deterioration in relations between China and the United States, the elderly statesman was honored as he arrived in Beijing.
The visit was a source of frustration for the White House, and it prompted John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, to express his regret that “it’s unfortunate that a private citizen” got access to Chinese leaders when the United States government did not.
Kissinger was asked which of his actions he would change if he could go back in time during an interview with ABC in July 2022, when he was 99 years old. The conversation took place during a book tour.
Through the entirety of my life, I have been contemplating these issues. At the same time as it is my job, it is also my hobby,” he explained. “And so the recommendations I made were the best of which I was then capable.”
He leaves behind his wife of nearly half a century, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, as well as two children from a former marriage, Elizabeth and David, and five grandchildren. He is also survived by all of his children and grandchildren.