Henry Kissinger, who served as Secretary of State played a significant role in shaping US foreign policy in the 20th century, passed away at the age of 100 on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. His consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, announced his death on Wednesday evening, but the cause was not disclosed. He served under two US Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Kissinger's company announced on Wednesday that he passed away at his home in Connecticut. He will be laid to rest in a private family service, with a memorial planned in New York at a later date. Before becoming national security adviser when Nixon became president in 1968, Kissinger was a Harvard academic. After news of his death, tributes from notable US officials flooded in. Upon his death, some on social media celebrated, citing the victims of his bombing campaigns as a basis for their sentiments.
George W. Bush expressed that the U.S. has lost a reliable and unique voice in foreign affairs, and Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, praised Kissinger for being consistently generous with the wisdom he gained throughout his extraordinary life.
As a Jewish teenager, Kissinger fled Nazi Germany with his family. In his later years, he became known as a respected statesman, giving speeches, advising both Republicans and Democrats, and running a worldwide consulting business. He even visited Donald Trump's White House multiple times.
The famous diplomat advised twelve presidents throughout his lengthy career, including Joe Biden, and received a Nobel Prize for his role in ending the Vietnam War. However, his legacy is marked by criticism for disregarding human rights and prioritizing U.S. corporate interests. Critics worldwide labeled him a war criminal.
In the early 2000s, Kissinger backed George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq. A fellow supporter of the war, journalist Christopher Hitchens, argued that Kissinger should face trial for war crimes.
Kissinger and Le Duc Tho received a joint Nobel Prize for negotiating the Paris treaty that concluded the Vietnam War. However, the North Vietnamese negotiator declined the honor. The 1973 peace prize stirred controversy in Nobel history because it was later revealed that Kissinger had supported Nixon's bombing of Cambodia in 1969.