Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who helped steer U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam and China, died Wednesday. He was 100.
His consulting firm, Kissinger Associates Inc., announced the death.
Kissinger, born as Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Germany in 1923, left Nazi Germany for America in 1938. He served in the 84th Army Division from 1943 to 1946 after becoming a U.S. citizen. He was awarded the Bronze Star. He later served in the Counter Intelligence Corps in occupied Germany.
President Richard Nixon appointed Kissinger as National Security Adviser in 1969. He went on to serve as Secretary of State under Nixon. When Nixon resigned in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal, Kissinger stayed on and served under President Gerald Ford.
“Kissinger played central roles in the opening to China, negotiating the end of the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East, and helping to bring America’s role in the Vietnam War to a close. He worked to set the former Rhodesia on the path to representative government and negotiated key arms control agreements with the Soviet Union,” according to Kissinger Associates Inc.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, a Vietnamese diplomat, “for jointly having negotiated a cease fire in Vietnam in 1973,” according to the Noble Foundation. Le Duc Tho declined the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Kissinger’s tenure as Secretary comprised many controversial issues, including his role in influencing U.S. policies towards countries such as Chile and Angola,” according to his official State Department biography.
Kissinger also was known for his “shuttle diplomacy” missions, in which he traveled between Middle East capitals to try to bring peace.
Kissinger also had many critics. HuffPost’s obituary of Kissinger had the headline: “Henry Kissinger, America’s Most Notorious War Criminal, Dies At 100”. HuffPost cited as perhaps Kissinger’s most notorious crime a secret four-year bombing campaign in Cambodia against the neutral nation during the time of the Vietnam War.
Kissinger is survived by his wife, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, two children by his first marriage, David and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren.
He will be interred at a private family service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests considering donations to: Animal Medical Center, Development Office, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065 or Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036.
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