The distinguished diplomat Henry Kissinger, known for his influential roles as a national security adviser and secretary of state under two U.S. presidents, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 100, leaving an enduring impact on American foreign policy. His death was confirmed at his residence in Connecticut by his firm, Kissinger Associates Inc.
His family plans a private interment, with a subsequent public memorial service to be held in New York City at a later time.
Kissinger remained active well into his later years, participating in White House meetings, authoring a book on leadership, and providing testimony before a Senate committee regarding the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. In an unexpected move in July 2023, he visited Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Serving both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Kissinger was a dominant figure during the period when the United States was disengaging from Vietnam and forging relations with China.
While lauded by many for his intellect and vast experience, others criticized him as a war criminal due to his backing of anti-communist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America. In his later years, his travels were constrained by attempts from foreign nations to apprehend or question him regarding past U.S. foreign policies.
His receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, ostensibly for his role in ending American involvement in the Vietnam War, was deeply controversial. The decision faced scrutiny and dissent, with two Nobel committee members resigning in protest. Questions surfaced concerning the covert U.S. bombings in Cambodia. Although North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho was chosen to share the award, he declined it.