Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford who shaped U.S. foreign policy for decades, has died. He was 100.
Kissinger died Wednesday at his home in Connecticut, according to a statement from his consulting film.
As national security advisor and U.S. secretary of state between 1969 and 1977, Kissinger played a central role in the historic opening to China in 1972, the end of the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East, and the U.S. extricating itself from the Vietnam War.
Born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923, in Furth, Germany, he and his family fled Nazi Germany and came to the U.S. in 1938. After becoming an American citizen in 1943, he served in the 84th Army Division from 1943 to 1946, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Kissinger later served in the Counter Intelligence Corps in occupied Germany, and was in the U.S. Army Reserves until 1959. He earned his doctorate at Harvard University, where he taught international relations for nearly 20 years.
Kissinger joined Nixon’s administration in January 1969 as national security adviser and, in 1973, was appointed secretary of state (and kept both titles). Kissinger stayed on under President Ford following Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.
Kissinger controversially received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam. He shared the award with his North Vietnamese counterpart Le Duc Tho, who declined to accept on the grounds that peace had not yet been established.
Kissinger is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger; his children Elizabeth and David, president of Conan O’Brien’s production company Conaco; and five grandchildren.