Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Dead at Age 100

Meeting in the Oval Office between Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi [via Robert L. Knudsen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has died, The Washington Post reports.

Kissinger who served as both Secretary of State and National Security Advisor in the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations was 100 years old.

CNBC Reports:

Henry Kissinger, the Holocaust survivor and Harvard professor who became a towering U.S. diplomat, master political manipulator and pop culture icon — loved by admirers and loathed by detractors — has died. He was 100.

As President Richard Nixon’s top foreign policy aide, Kissinger helped set out the nation’s grand international strategy of extricating itself from an unpopular war and plotting its relations with two rival communist powers. In Nixon’s second term, Kissinger had to navigate against the backdrop of the Watergate scandal that engulfed his commander in chief’s attention and eventually forced the president out. All the while, he fiercely defended his own political turf.

“My predominant concern during Watergate was not the investigations that formed the headlines of the day. It was to sustain the credibility of the United States as a major power,” Kissinger wrote in his 1982 memoir “Years of Upheaval.” “I became the focal point of a degree of support unprecedented for a nonelected official. It was as if the public and Congress felt the national peril instinctively, and created a surrogate center around which the national purpose could rally.”

Kissinger negotiated America’s exit from the disastrous Vietnam War, sharing the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho for a cease-fire agreement that year. Nearly two years later, Nixon’s self-described “peace with honor” collapsed with the fall of Saigon to the Viet Cong during the administration of President Gerald Ford.

Kissinger was also well known for crafting the policy that thawed the Cold War with the Soviets and breaking down the barriers with communist China.

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