Henry Kissinger, Ex-US Secretary, Dies at 100

Henry Kissinger, Ex-US Secretary, Dies at 100


In a significant development, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has passed away at the age of 100. Kissinger, a key figure in shaping US foreign policy during the Cold War, served as America’s top diplomat and national security adviser under the Nixon and Ford administrations.

The news of his death was confirmed by Kissinger Associates, the policy consultancy he founded. The statement released did not provide details about the cause of his death. Kissinger passed away at his home in Connecticut.

President George W Bush led the tributes, describing Kissinger as “one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs” and acknowledging his lasting impact on peace initiatives.

Born in Germany in 1923, Kissinger arrived in the US in 1938 as his family fled the Nazis. He became a US citizen in 1943, serving in the US Army and later in the Counter Intelligence Corps. After obtaining advanced degrees, he taught international relations at Harvard.

Kissinger’s influence peaked when he was appointed national security adviser by President Nixon in 1969. During his tenure as both national security adviser and secretary of state (1969-77), he played a pivotal role in ending the Vietnam War, fostering diplomatic relations with China, and brokering a ceasefire in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in the Middle East.

In China, where Kissinger remained popular, news of his death quickly trended on social media platforms. Chinese media referred to him as “an old friend of the Chinese people” and praised his contributions to US-China relations.

However, Kissinger faced criticism for prioritizing the Cold War rivalry over human rights, with accusations of supporting repressive regimes, including Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Despite this, Kissinger remained dismissive of such critiques.

After leaving government service in 1977, Kissinger continued to be a prominent commentator on public affairs, offering counsel to numerous US presidents and lawmakers. He holds the unique distinction of having dealt directly with every Chinese leader from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping.

Kissinger’s legacy extends beyond diplomacy; he authored 21 books and served on various company boards. Even in his later years, he maintained an active public life, including a notable visit to Beijing in July 2022 at the age of 99, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Henry Kissinger is survived by his wife, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, two children from a previous marriage, Elizabeth and David, and five grandchildren. His passing marks the end of an era, leaving an indelible mark on the world stage.