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Henry Alfred Kissinger, a towering figure in American diplomacy, political science, and international relations, passed away on November 29, 2023.
He was born in Fürth, Germany, on May 27, 1923. He is best recognized for having a significant impact on the development of American foreign policy in the middle of the 20th century.
Early Life and Education
The Jewish-American Kissinger family left Germany in 1938 when the Nazi dictatorship came to power to seek safety in the United States. Young Henry continued his schooling at the City College of New York, where he studied accounting, showcasing his early brilliance.
Following his World War II service in the U.S. Army, Kissinger pursued higher education at Harvard University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1950, a master’s degree in 1952, and a doctorate in 1954. The book “A World Restored,” which was adapted from his PhD thesis, demonstrated his analytical abilities and laid the foundation for his subsequent contributions to the field of international affairs.
He joined Harvard’s faculty and was honored for his academic achievements there. Politicians took notice of his reputation, and President Richard Nixon designated him as National Security Advisor in 1969.
As National Security Advisor and later as Secretary of State, Kissinger played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy during the Nixon and Ford administrations. He was a key architect of the policy of détente with the Soviet Union and engaged in groundbreaking diplomatic efforts, including the opening of relations with China. His realpolitik approach aimed to balance power dynamics on the global stage.
Kissinger was granted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his involvement in negotiating the conclusion of the Vietnam War, which was one of his most important diplomatic accomplishments.
He served as a director on the board of directors of Freeport-McMoRan, a global producer of gold and copper that mines and mills a large amount of material in Papua, Indonesia, between 1995 and 2001. Kissinger was designated as a political counselor by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid in February 2000. In addition, he became an honorary advisor to the Chamber of Commerce between the United States and Azerbaijan.
Henry Kissinger presided over the Eisenhower Fellowships board of trustees from 2000 to 2006. He was awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service upon his departure in 2006. Furthermore, Kissinger headed the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which was formed by President George W. Bush in November 2002. However, he resigned from the position on December 13, 2002, because he was worried about revealing his client list for business.
He expressed concerns in 2020 about the United States and China potentially starting a Second Cold War that would result in a war like the one that occurred during World War I, as tensions between the two countries grew due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the trade war, and riots in Hong Kong. During his visit to Beijing in July 2023, Kissinger held talks with Li Shangfu, the Chinese Defense Minister, who had been sanctioned by the US government in 2018 for purchasing combat aircraft from a Russian arms exporter.
On February 6, 1949, Henry Kissinger married Anneliese “Ann” Fleischer, a fellow Fürth, Germany native. The union brought forth two children, Elizabeth and David. Unfortunately, they divorced in 1964. In 1955, during a symposium at Harvard, Kissinger met Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann. Later, on March 30, 1974, Kissinger tied the knot with Nancy Maginnes. The couple resided in Kent, Connecticut, and New York City.
What was Henry Kissinger’s Cause of Death?
Henry Kissinger passed away on November 29. 2023 at Kent, Connecticut. He died at the age of 100 in his house. However, his cause of death has not been revealed.