Henry Kissinger, the influential former US Secretary of State known for shaping post-World War II global dynamics, has passed away at the age of 100.
The announcement came from his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, stating that he died at his home in Connecticut. The family plans to hold a private funeral, with a memorial service scheduled for later in New York.
Kissinger played a pivotal role in shaping US foreign policy, notably with his secret outreach to China in the early 1970s, leading to the historic 1972 visit by President Richard Nixon and the subsequent establishment of relations with China.
He served as both Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under President Nixon and continued in the same role under President Gerald Ford after the Watergate scandal.
Despite being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the Vietnam War, Kissinger remained a controversial figure due to his philosophy of realpolitik, characterized by a cold and calculated approach to national interests.
Declassified documents revealed his involvement in undermining Chile’s elected president Salvador Allende and supporting Indonesia’s seizure of East Timor.
Kissinger was recognized for his role in the 1973 Yom Kippur War negotiations and earned respect as an iconic diplomat, but his legacy is marked by criticism for actions in countries such as Chile, East Timor, and Cambodia. He never faced serious legal consequences, with a US judge dismissing a lawsuit related to Chile’s army chief’s assassination in 2004.
Survived by his wife Nancy of nearly 50 years, two children from a previous marriage, and five grandchildren, Henry Kissinger leaves a complex legacy in the realm of international diplomacy.