Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dead at 100

The well-known American diplomat is credited with significantly shaping U.S. policy under two presidents.
Posted at 8:56 PM, Nov 29, 2023

American diplomat and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has died at the age of 100. 

Kissinger, a well-known political scholar and statesman, is credited with markedly shaping the way U.S. foreign policy works, serving under two American presidents. Kissinger's official website confirmed the news on Wednesday. Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut, according to a statement from Kissinger Associates, Inc. 

He served as the 56th U.S. secretary of state, becoming a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, helping create "the post-World War II world order," his website said. 

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Kissinger served as both national security adviser and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon. 

His time in the White House saw the opening up of China to the West and the return of U.S. troops after the U.S. ended its involvement in the Vietnam war. 

Born in Furth, Germany in 1923, Kissinger experienced life in a Jewish family living in a country with restrictions on them. 

His schoolteacher father lost his job as the Nuremberg Laws were enacted in 1935, according to a biography on Kissinger's website. The family later fled to the United States.

In a speech, Kissinger later said, "When I came here in 1938, I was asked to write an essay at George Washington High School about what it meant to be an American. I wrote that … this was a country where one could walk across the street with one's head erect."

In May, Kissinger celebrated his 100th birthday on a Saturday. 

His son David Kissinger wrote in the Washington Post that his father's birthday "might have an air of inevitability for anyone familiar with his force of character and love of historical symbolism. Not only has he outlived most of his peers, eminent detractors and students, but he has also remained indefatigably active throughout his 90s."

His son said just before his historic birthday that his father had plans to travel to London, New York and to his hometown of Furth.