Former U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger died at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday, his consulting firm announced without providing a cause.
During his century of life, Kissinger was born in Furth, Germany, and made his way to the upper echelons of American statesmanship, serving as national security adviser and secretary of state during the 1970s under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Both a lauded and controversial figure, Kissinger conducted foreign policy that impacted the United States’ relationship with major powers, including the Soviet Union and China. Kissinger shared a 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to negotiate a ceasefire in Vietnam, even though the Vietnam War continued for a couple years after U.S. troops departed.
Kissinger, who was Jewish, fled Nazi Germany with his family as a teenager. After becoming a U.S. citizen in 1943, he served in the military, earned degrees, and taught at Harvard University; he then joined the government, his firm Kissinger Associates Inc., said.
Following his years of government service, Kissinger continued to advise leaders and comment on current events of the day — including artificial intelligence. He remained visible on the global stage, including writing many books, up until he turned 100 earlier this year.
In a CBS interview that aired in the spring, Kissinger shared his skepticism about anyone of an advanced age serving as commander in chief — which is currently an issue on voters’ minds as President Joe Biden is seeking re-election at the age of 81 and former President Donald Trump is doing the same at 77.
“It takes a certain capacity, physically,” Kissinger said at the time. “There’s some advantages in maturity. There are dangers in exhaustion, and a limited capacity to work.”
Kissinger is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, two children by his first marriage, David and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren, according to his firm, which noted that Kissinger will be interred at a private family service.
His firm added: “At a later date, there will be a memorial service in New York City. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests considering donations to: Animal Medical Center, Development Office, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065 or Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036.”