Controversial former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies age 100

Henry Kissinger Dies aged 100

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has died aged 100.

The prominent and often controversial Republican was a key figure in US foreign policy and security policy, and remained an influential political name up until his passing.

The Nobel Prize-winner’s consulting firm Kissinger Associates confirmed Kissinger’s passing on Wednesday evening (29 November), stating that he had died in his Connecticut home and would be interred at a private family service, though no cause was given.

Henry Kissinger Dies aged 100
Henry Kissinger has died aged 100. (Getty Images)

Kissinger, who moved to the US in 1938 when his family fled Nazi Germany, served in the US Army for three years and received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard before going on to be President Richard Nixon’s security advisor when he entered the White House.

Henry Kissinger served as Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977,  under both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, making him a particularly influential figure throughout historical moments like the Vietnam War and the Cold War through to 9/11.

His White House legacy is regarded very differently by right and left-wing folks.

You may like to watch

Those on the right admire Kissinger as a brilliant diplomat and powerful political name who helped to negotiate an end to the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and was a key architect in the Paris Peace Accords that resulted in the eventual, though some might say belated, end to the Vietnam War.

More left-leaning groups would heavily criticise Kissinger for his notorious policies that contributed to the deaths of millions around the world, either by instigating the overthrowal of Chilean president Salvatore Allende, secretly supporting Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan which resulted in the slaughter of at least 300,000 people, fuelling civil war in South Africa through his diplomacy efforts, or orchestrating a four-year bombing campaign in Cambodia – to name but a few.

Henry Kissinger Dies aged 100
Henry Kissinger served as Secretary of State under Richard Nixon. (Getty Images)

Henry Kissinger is widely regarded as a war criminal and named as responsible for an enormous international death toll.

The former Secretary of State was rather controversially awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, alongside North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho, who refused to accept.

Giving the award to Kissinger was seen as so controversial that two Nobel Committee members resigned in an act of protest.

In 1977, Kissinger was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, when his time in the White House came to an end.

Henry Kissinger Dies aged 100
Kissinger widely is regarded as a war criminal. (Getty Images)

Even after his time as Secretary of State was over, Kissinger was an influential figure through his consulting firm, through which he remained active in diplomatic circles.

From 1984 to 1990, Kissinger served on the President Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Ronald Regan.

President George W. Bush would then appoint Kissinger as the chairman of the 9/11 commission, though he only held the position for a few weeks before questions were raised about a possible conflict of interest.

Kissinger is survived by his wife Nancy Kissinger, and his two children, Elizabeth and David, from his first marriage to Ann Fleischer.

Please login or register to comment on this story.