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Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies at 100

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Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies at 100

Henry Kissinger, the influential and controversial diplomat who played a key role in shaping American foreign policy during the 1970s, has died at the age of 100. His death occurred at his home in Connecticut, leaving behind a legacy that continues to both inspire admiration and provoke criticism.

During his tenure as Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, Kissinger orchestrated several historic diplomatic efforts, including the opening of relations with China, arms control talks with the Soviet Union, and the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam. His influence extended into the administration of President Gerald Ford, where he continued to be a dominant force in foreign policy.

Despite his notable achievements, Kissinger’s legacy is marred by controversy. His support of anti-communist dictatorships in Latin America drew criticism, as did his involvement in the secret bombing of Cambodia. He was often branded as a war criminal by his detractors.

Throughout his later years, Kissinger remained active, participating in White House meetings, publishing books, and testifying before Congress on international security threats. Though praised for his intelligence and experience by some, others saw him as an arrogant and irritable figure, with a reputation for having a thin skin and self-confidence.

Born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Germany in 1923, he immigrated to the United States with his family in 1938 to escape the Nazi regime. He later served in the U.S. Army during World War II and went on to earn a doctorate from Harvard University.

Despite his achievements, Kissinger faced criticism for his failure to negotiate a peace settlement in Vietnam and his support for authoritarian regimes in Latin America. He lost influence with subsequent Republican presidents and was forced to resign from a committee following the September 11 attacks due to conflicts of interest.

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Kissinger’s personal life was also marked by controversy, including a divorce and remarriage to Nancy Maginnes in 1974. He leaves behind a complex and indelible legacy as one of the most influential figures in modern American foreign policy.

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