Kissinger, a controversial figure who was both admired and reviled, was known for his pragmatic approach to diplomacy and his willingness to engage with adversaries. He was a key figure in the Nixon administration’s efforts to end the Vietnam War and in the normalization of relations between the United States and China.
Kissinger was born in Fürth, Germany, in 1923, and emigrated to the United States in 1938 to escape the Nazis. He served in the US Army during World War II and later earned a doctorate from Harvard University.
After teaching at Harvard, Kissinger entered government service in the 1960s. He served as national security adviser to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973 and as secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.
In his role as national security adviser, Kissinger played a key role in the Nixon administration’s efforts to end the Vietnam War. He also helped to normalize relations between the United States and China, making a historic visit to Beijing in 1972.
Kissinger’s tenure as secretary of state was marked by a number of significant foreign policy achievements. He helped to negotiate the Camp David Accords, which led to a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, and he played a key role in the development of the Helsinki Accords, which helped to ease tensions between the East and West during the Cold War.
However, Kissinger was also a controversial figure. He was criticized for his role in the Vietnam War, particularly his support for the bombing of Cambodia. He was also criticized for his support of authoritarian regimes in Chile and Greece.
Despite his critics, Kissinger remained a respected figure in international affairs. He continued to write and speak on foreign policy issues long after leaving government service. He also served as a consultant to a number of governments and businesses.
Kissinger’s death marks the end of an era in American foreign policy. He was a towering figure who shaped American policy for decades. His legacy will continue to be debated for years to come.