Henry Kissinger, US Diplomat and Presidential Advisor, Dead at 100

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Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger passed away on Wednesday at 100.

As reported by Fox News, Kissinger died Wednesday at his home in Connecticut. He served as secretary of state and national security advisor under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerard Ford.

He also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for taking part in negotiating the Paris Peace Accords in hopes of ending the Vietnam War. 

Kissinger is a known proponent of realpolitik, a more practical approach to reaching objectives instead of moral ideals, and was commended with the secret diplomacy that eased U.S. relations with China.

He is also considered controversial due to allegations of committing war crimes for the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, supporting Pakistan’s genocide in Bangladesh, and approving the Argentine dictatorship’s “dirty war” against dissidents, CBS News reports. 

Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Germany on May 27, 1923. In 1938, his Jewish family escaped from the Nazis after they fled Germany and moved to New York. 

 “Henry Kissinger grew up with that mix of ego and insecurity that comes from being the smartest kid in the class,” his biographer, Walter Isaacson, wrote.

“From really knowing that you’re more awesomely intelligent than anybody else but also being the guy who’d gotten beaten up because he was Jewish.”

Growing up, Kissinger attended George Washington High School, served in the U.S. military, and enrolled at Harvard University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a Ph.D. He also joined Harvard’s faculty, specializing in international relations. 

In 1968, Kissinger was handpicked by Nixon as his national advisor and was appointed secretary of state during his second term. Kissinger also served in both positions during the Ford administration after Nixon resigned. 

Kissinger left politics after Ford failed to win re-election in 1976 and returned to academia to join Georgetown University’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

“On behalf of our family and of all those who worked with our father and Dr. Henry A. Kissinger in a partnership that produced a generation of peace for our nation, we express our deepest condolences on the passing of one of America’s most skilled diplomats,” Nixon’s daughters, Tricia Nixon and Julie Nixon Eisenhower said in a statement.

In a statement released Wednesday, former President George W. Bush said of Kissinger, “America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs.”

“He worked in the Administrations of two Presidents and counseled many more,” Bush wrote. “I am grateful for that service and advice, but I am most grateful for his friendship. Laura and I will miss his wisdom, charm, and humor. And we will always be thankful for Henry Kissinger’s contributions.”

Kissinger is survived by his wife, Nancy, and his two children, Elizabeth and David, from his first marriage.

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Win McNamee / Staff

Video Courtesy: Associated Press via YouTube

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

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