A former United States Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, is dead. Kissinger, aged 100, served as America’s top diplomat and national security adviser during the Nixon and Ford administrations.
The diplomatic powerhouse, whose roles as a national security adviser and secretary of state under two presidents left an indelible mark on the US oreign policy and earned him a controversial Nobel Peace Prize, died on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
He died at his home in Connecticut, according to a statement from his geopolitical consulting firm, Kissinger Associates Inc. No mention was made of the circumstances.
It said he would be interred at a private family service, to be followed at a later date by a public memorial service in New York City.
Kissinger had been active late in life, attending meetings in the White House, publishing a book on leadership styles, and testifying before a Senate committee about the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. In July 2023, he made a surprise visit to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
During the 1970s in the midst of the Cold War, he had a hand in many of the epoch-changing global events of the decade while serving as the national security adviser and secretary of state under Republican President Richard Nixon.
The German-born Jewish refugee’s efforts led to the US diplomatic opening with China, landmark US-Soviet arms control talks, expanded ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam.
Kissinger’s reign as the prime architect of U.S. foreign policy waned with Nixon’s resignation in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal.
Still, he continued to be a diplomatic force as secretary of state under Nixon’s successor, President Gerald Ford, and to offer strong opinions throughout the rest of his life.
While many hailed Kissinger for his brilliance and broad experience, others branded him a war criminal for his support for anti-communist dictatorships, especially in Latin America. In his latter years, his travels were circumscribed by efforts by other nations to arrest or question him about past U.S. foreign policy.