Henry Kissinger, Towering and Polarizing U.S. Strategist, Dies at 100

Henry Kissinger, Towering and Polarizing U.S. Strategist, Dies at 100

NEW YORK — Former Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger, the German-born international relations theorist and practitioner who helped shape American foreign policy for more than three decades, has died at age 100.

Kissinger passed away peacefully at his home in New York City yesterday evening from natural causes, according to a statement from his children.

As national security advisor and then secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford, Kissinger left an indelible mark on modern diplomatics. His policy of détente eased Cold War confrontations with the Soviet Union while his secret negotiations with China opened relations with America’s most populous adversary. He was awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Vietnam ceasefire, although the North soon violated truce terms.

Kissinger mixed global celebrity with controversy throughout his career. He survived repeated calls that his Nobel prize be revoked amid accusations that he enabled genocide and unethical policies abroad. Nevertheless, Kissinger commanded influence among Washington elites long after leaving public office in 1977 following eight tumultuous years managing U.S. strategy.

In later decades, Kissinger authored a stream of books and essays analyzing geopolitics. He continued hosting high-powered gatherings at his Park Avenue office past his 100th birthday earlier this year, insisting productive contact between rivals was essential, whatever their bitter differences.

“Few former officials have remained as influential for as long,” said presidential biographer Michael Beschloss. “Kissinger’s worldview left an imprint on the foreign policy establishment that remains remarkably durable, even as it appalls his many opponents.”

Funeral arrangements are still pending. Kissinger is survived by his two children and four grandchildren. His wife Nancy, to whom he was married for almost 70 years before her death in 2022, passed away 14 months prior at age 93.