Close this search box.

Former Sec. Of State Henry Kissinger Dies At 100

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the diplomat with the thick glasses and gravelly voice who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam and broke down barriers with China, died Wednesday, his consulting firm said. He was 100.

With his gruff yet commanding presence and behind-the-scenes manipulation of power, Kissinger exerted uncommon influence on global affairs under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, earning both vilification and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Decades later, his name still provoked impassioned debate over foreign policy landmarks long past.

Kissinger’s power grew during the turmoil of Watergate, when the politically attuned diplomat assumed a role akin to co-president to the weakened Nixon.

“No doubt my vanity was piqued,” Kissinger later wrote of his expanding influence. “But the dominant emotion was a premonition of catastrophe.”

A Jew who fled Nazi Germany with his family in his teens, Kissinger in his later years cultivated the reputation of respected statesman, giving speeches, offering advice to Republicans and Democrats alike and managing a global consulting business. He turned up in President Donald Trump’s White House on multiple occasions. But Nixon-era documents and tapes, as they trickled out over the years, brought revelations — many in Kissinger’s own words — that sometimes cast him in a harsh light.

Never without his detractors, Kissinger after he left government was dogged by critics who argued that he should be called to account for his policies on Southeast Asia and support of repressive regimes in Latin America.

For eight restless years — first as national security adviser, later as secretary of state, and for a time in the middle holding both titles — Kissinger ranged across the breadth of major foreign policy issues. He conducted the first “shuttle diplomacy” in the quest for Middle East peace. He used secret channels to pursue ties between the United States and China, ending decades of isolation and mutual hostility.

He initiated the Paris negotiations that ultimately provided a face-saving means — a “decent interval,” he called it — to get the United States out of a costly war in Vietnam. Two years later, Saigon fell to the communists.

And he pursued a policy of detente with the Soviet Union that led to arms control agreements and raised the possibility that the tensions of the Cold War and its nuclear threat did not have to last forever.

At age 99, he was still out on tour for his book on leadership. Asked in July 2022 interview with ABC whether he wished he could take back any of his decisions, Kissinger demurred, saying: “I’ve been thinking about these problems all my life. It’s my hobby as well as my occupation. And so the recommendations I made were the best of which I was then capable.”

Even then, he had mixed thoughts on Nixon’s record, saying “his foreign policy has held up and he was quite effective in domestic policy” while allowing that the disgraced president had “permitted himself to be involved in a number of steps that were inappropriate for a president.”

As Kissinger turned 100 in May 2023, his son David wrote in The Washington Post that his father’s centenary “might have an air of inevitability for anyone familiar with his force of character and love of historical symbolism. Not only has he outlived most of his peers, eminent detractors and students, but he has also remained indefatigably active throughout his 90s.”

Asked during a CBS interview in the leadup to his 100th birthday about those who view his conduct of foreign policy over the years as a kind of “criminality,” Kissinger was nothing but dismissive.

“That’s a reflection of their ignorance,” Kissinger said. “It wasn’t conceived that way. It wasn’t conducted that way.”

Kissinger continued his involvement in global affairs even in his last months. He met Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing in July, as bilateral relations were at a low point. And 50 years after his shuttle diplomacy helped end the 1973 Mideast war, when Israel fended off a surprise attack from Egypt and Syria, Kissinger warned of the risks of that conflict repeating itself after Israel faced a surprise assault by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Tributes for Kissinger from prominent U.S. officials poured immediately upon word of his death. Former President George W. Bush said the U.S. “lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs” and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Kissinger was “endlessly generous with the wisdom gained over the course of an extraordinary life.”

Kissinger’s consulting firm said he died at his home in Connecticut.

Kissinger was a practitioner of realpolitik — using diplomacy to achieve practical objectives rather than advance lofty ideals. Supporters said his pragmatic bent served U.S. interests; critics saw a Machiavellian approach that ran counter to democratic ideals.

He was castigated for authorizing telephone wiretaps of reporters and his own National Security Council staff to plug news leaks in Nixon’s White House. He was denounced on college campuses for the bombing and allied invasion of Cambodia in April 1970, intended to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines to communist forces in South Vietnam.

That “incursion,” as Nixon and Kissinger called it, was blamed by some for contributing to Cambodia’s fall into the hands of Khmer Rouge insurgents who later slaughtered some 2 million Cambodians.

Kissinger, for his part, made it his mission to debunk what he referred to in 2007 as a “prevalent myth” — that he and Nixon had settled in 1972 for peace terms that had been available in 1969 and thus had needlessly prolonged the Vietnam War at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives.

He insisted that the only way to speed up the withdrawal would have been to agree to Hanoi’s demands that the U.S. overthrow the South Vietnamese government and replace it with communist-dominated leadership.

Pudgy and messy, Kissinger incongruously acquired a reputation as a ladies’ man in the staid Nixon administration. Kissinger, who had divorced his first wife in 1964, called women “a diversion, a hobby.” Jill St. John was a frequent companion. He married Nancy Maginnes, a researcher for Nelson Rockefeller, in 1974.

Yet Kissinger was reviled by many Americans for his conduct of wartime diplomacy. He was still a lightning rod decades later: In 2015, an appearance by the 91-year-old Kissinger before the Senate Armed Services Committee was disrupted by protesters demanding his arrest for war crimes and calling out his actions in Southeast Asia, Chile and beyond.

Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born in the Bavarian city of Fuerth on May 27, 1923, the son of a schoolteacher. His family left Nazi Germany in 1938 and settled in Manhattan, where Heinz changed his name to Henry.

Kissinger had two children, Elizabeth and David, from his first marriage.


15 Responses

  1. It’s shameful that a man of such character gets such a long article. This is a man who left the world in a worse state then when he joined it. The world is quick to forget that this is the same man who intentionally withheld/ delayed aid from the state of Israel at the onset of the Yom Kippur war in order to weaken the Israelis. Hundreds, if not thousands of Jews died while he tried to play politics. This is a man who thought of himself as God and acted accordingly. The world was his own little playground where he played with people’s lives as if they were meaningless toys. Now he will have to answer for everything he did.

  2. Pretty upsetting to see YeshivaWorld be maspid him like that. He played hardball with Israel before, during, and after the Yom Kippur War, openly stating that he wants Israel to win in the end “but to get bloodied in the process”. Disgusting. So typical from a self-hating Jew. His attitude towards Yidden in the USSR was equally contemptable. Jewish blood was cheap in his eyes. Intermarried as well, at least the second time.

    He grew up frum, so he must have done some amount of Mitzvos until his teens, when he fried out and went to the opposite extreme. That explains his arichas yomim; he got his schar for a few years of Tefillin, Davening, Learning, Shabbos, etc. The last 84-85 years, including his time as a “public servant” are not worth such a hesped.

  3. While I was never a great fan of his role in public life, he did start out as a frum Yid and probably got led astray by the intense charisma of Nelson Rockefeller. אל תדין את חברך עד שתגיע למקומו. ישראל אע”פ שחטא ישראל הוא. May the neshomo of Avraham ben Eliezer ע”ה have an aliya and whatever tikunim it needs.

  4. He once said that if he were not a Jew he would be anti-Semitic. If a people have been persecuted for 2,000 years, they must have been doing something wrong.

  5. I remember seeing his father being interviewed by Walter Cronkite at the RNC Convention in 1972 in Miami. I think his dad was from Washington Heights. You could tell that his father was a sweet good hearted person with a big black yarmulke.A proud Jew! Henry was with the conquering US forces that busted their way into Nazi Germany in WWII. He said he made sure to treat the Germans with kindness as they were a defeated people.Vinegar the son of wine. Do you ever notice that the reshaim often get what seems tous as too many years.He will not be missed!

  6. Shiva info? his parents sat shiva for him a long time ago – when he married a shiktza and when his father died they didnt let henry say kaddish for him. yhi zichro kollul

  7. from his press release: He will be interred at a private family service. 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,

  8. I knew someone in Yerushalaim (who was also niftar recently) who grew up with him in Germany and described him as a קנאי in Pirchei Aguda. שוב יום אחד לפני מתתך. דע לפני מי אתה עתיד ליתן דין וחשבון.

  9. People need to stop glorifying this rabid anti-semite!! Here are his own words…

    “Any people who has been persecuted for two thousand years must be doing something wrong.”

    “If they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern”

    He was a man who was opposed to the National Holocaust Museum and forbade Jewish government employees from keeping Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    I have no words.

  10. It’s sad that his parents who were simple Shomer Shabbos Jews merited such a son.
    Likely the outcome of not having a Yeshiva/Torah education. Aside from marrying a shikse, his son also married a shikse.

    He was a big player in Conference of Foreign Relations founded by David Rockefeller ym’s which is the grandfather organization of the World Economic Forum, the headquarters of Amaleik. When he was a professor at Harvard University, he became the “rebbi”/mentor of Klaus Schwab ym’s, who now heads the WEF and author of Agenda 2030 & The Great Reset, and the 4th Industrial Revolution, whose mantra is “you will own nothing and be happy”, “you will not eat meat but bugs”, depopulation and a dystopian Marxist one government rule for the entire world. Kissinger was a eugenist and a proponent of depopulation. I will quote from an article that I have a clip of (this website will not allow me to copy and paste the actual picture of the article).
    Kissinger Quote from a speech to the WHO council on Eugenics. Feb 25. 2009:
    “Once the herd accepts mandatory vaccinations, it’s game over. They will accept anything–forcible blood or organ donation — for the greater good. We can genetically modify children and sterilize them — for the greater good. Control sheep minds and you control the herd. Vaccine maker stand to make billions. And many of you in this room are investors. It’s a big win-win. We thin out the herd and the herd pays us for extermination services.”

    For whatever good he may have done on this earth, he’s gotten his reward with long life. I hope this rasha is rotting and burning in Gehinom now.

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts