Henry Kissinger Through The Years

Henry Kissinger, a former US secretary of state and national security adviser who escaped Nazi Germany in his youth to become one of the most influential and controversial foreign policy figures in American history, has died at the age of 100.

Kissinger was synonymous with US foreign policy in the 1970s. He received a Nobel Peace Prize for helping arrange the end of US military involvement in the Vietnam War and is credited with secret diplomacy that helped President Richard Nixon open communist China to the United States and the West.

But he was also reviled by many over the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War that led to the rise of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime and for his support of a coup against a democratic government in Chile.

In the Middle East, Kissinger performed what came to be known as “shuttle diplomacy” to separate Israeli and Arab forces after the fallout of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. His “détente” approach to US-Soviet relations, which helped relax tensions and led to several arms control agreements, largely guided US posture until the Reagan era.

An 11-year-old Kissinger is seen with his younger brother, Walter, in the 1930s. Kissinger was born in Fürth, Germany, as Heinz Alfred Kissinger. His name was changed to Henry when his family fled Nazi Germany and settled in the United States.

An 11-year-old Kissinger is seen with his younger brother, Walter, in the 1930s. Kissinger was born in Fürth, Germany, as Heinz Alfred Kissinger. His name was changed to Henry when his family fled Nazi Germany and settled in the United States. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger, seen here in 1957, was a Harvard University faculty member who became associate director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs. He became a US citizen in 1943 and served in World War II.

Kissinger, seen here in 1957, was a Harvard University faculty member who became associate director of Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. He became a US citizen in 1943 and served in World War II. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger, as US national security adviser, sits with US Secretary of State William P. Rogers in 1969. Earlier in the 1960s, Kissinger was a consultant for the National Security Council, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the State Department.

Kissinger, as US national security adviser, sits with US Secretary of State William P. Rogers in 1969. Earlier in the 1960s, Kissinger was a consultant for the National Security Council, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the State Department. Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Kissinger takes a call in his office in the early 1970s.

Kissinger takes a call in his office in the early 1970s. Tom Blau/Camera Press/Redux

Kissinger meets with President Richard Nixon in 1972.

Kissinger meets with President Richard Nixon in 1972. Camera Press/Redux

With Nixon watching, Kissinger is sworn in as Secretary of State by Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1973. Nixon called it "very significant in these days when we must think of America as part of the whole world community that for the first time in history a naturalized citizen is the secretary of state of the United States."

With Nixon watching, Kissinger is sworn in as Secretary of State by Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1973. Nixon called it “very significant in these days when we must think of America as part of the whole world community that for the first time in history a naturalized citizen is the secretary of state of the United States.” Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

Kissinger and Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho sign the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. The two men later were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but Tho refused to accept it.

Kissinger and Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho sign the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. The two men later were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but Tho refused to accept it. MPI/Getty Images

Kissinger makes a statement after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kissinger makes a statement after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Wally McNamee/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Kissinger accepts food from Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during a state banquet in Beijing in 1973.

Kissinger accepts food from Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during a state banquet in Beijing in 1973. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger talks with journalists on his way to meet with NATO foreign ministers.

Kissinger talks with journalists on his way to meet with NATO foreign ministers. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger, second from left, walks with Leonid Brezhnev, secretary-general of the Soviet Communist Party, in 1973.

Kissinger, second from left, walks with Leonid Brezhnev, secretary-general of the Soviet Communist Party, in 1973. ITAR-TASS/Alamy

Kissinger poses for a photo in his office in Washington, DC.

Kissinger poses for a photo in his office in Washington, DC. Dirck Halstead/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger and US President Gerald Ford remove their shoes during a visit to Japan in 1974.

Kissinger and US President Gerald Ford remove their shoes during a visit to Japan in 1974. Time Life Pictures/The White House/Getty Images

Kissinger's wife, Nancy, pats her husband on the head as he checks newspapers while traveling between Egypt and Israel for peace negotiations.

Kissinger’s wife, Nancy, pats her husband on the head as he checks newspapers while traveling between Egypt and Israel for peace negotiations. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger looks out a window at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1975.

Kissinger looks out a window at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1975. David Hume Kennerly/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Kissinger talks with actor Kirk Douglas at a dinner party in 1977.

Kissinger talks with actor Kirk Douglas at a dinner party in 1977. News Syndication/Times Newspapers Ltd/Redux

Kissinger stands with his son, David, after he graduated from the Concord Academy in Massachusetts in 1979. Kissinger also had a daughter, Elizabeth.

Kissinger stands with his son, David, after he graduated from the Concord Academy in Massachusetts in 1979. Kissinger also had a daughter, Elizabeth. Mikki Ansin/Getty Images

Kissinger testifies before the Senate Energy Committee.

Kissinger testifies before the Senate Energy Committee. Diana Walker/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Kissinger speaks to reporters at a hospital in Boston, where he announced that he would undergo triple bypass heart surgery in 1982.

Kissinger speaks to reporters at a hospital in Boston, where he announced that he would undergo triple bypass heart surgery in 1982. Peter Southwock/AP

From left, Kissinger, Princess Diana, Colin Powell and Barbara Walters attend the United Cerebral Palsy annual dinner in New York in 1995. Diana received a humanitarian award.

From left, Kissinger, Princess Diana, Colin Powell and Barbara Walters attend the United Cerebral Palsy annual dinner in New York in 1995. Diana received a humanitarian award. Rota/Camera Press/Redux

Kissinger signs a picture of himself at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, in 2001.

Kissinger signs a picture of himself at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, in 2001. David McNew/Getty Images

Kissinger stands with President George W. Bush in New York after Bush spoke about the economy in 2008.

Kissinger stands with President George W. Bush in New York after Bush spoke about the economy in 2008. Charles Dharapak/AP

Kissinger receives a Golden Victoria Award from German President Christian Wulff in Berlin in 2011.

Kissinger receives a Golden Victoria Award from German President Christian Wulff in Berlin in 2011. Stephan Schraps/Getty Images

From left, former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Kissinger join Secretary of State John Kerry for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the US Diplomacy Center in 2014.

From left, former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Kissinger join Secretary of State John Kerry for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the US Diplomacy Center in 2014. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kissinger is greeted by US Sen. John McCain after a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in 2015.

Kissinger is greeted by US Sen. John McCain after a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in 2015. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter hosts an award ceremony in 2016 honoring Kissinger for his years of distinguished public service.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter hosts an award ceremony in 2016 honoring Kissinger for his years of distinguished public service. Xinhua/Yin Bogu/Getty Images

Kissinger joins Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States, on a visit to the new Chinese pavilion of the Nixon Library and Museum in 2016.

Kissinger joins Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States, on a visit to the new Chinese pavilion of the Nixon Library and Museum in 2016. Xinhua/Zhang Chaoqun/Redux

President Donald Trump speaks with Kissinger during a meeting in the White House Oval Office in 2017.

President Donald Trump speaks with Kissinger during a meeting in the White House Oval Office in 2017. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Kissinger touches McCain's casket as he lies in state at the US Capitol in 2018.

Kissinger touches McCain’s casket as he lies in state at the US Capitol in 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images

Kissinger receives the Bavarian Order of Maximilian for Science and the Arts during a reception at his birthplace of Fürth, Germany, in June 2023.

Kissinger receives the Bavarian Order of Maximilian for Science and the Arts during a reception at his birthplace of Fürth, Germany, in June 2023. Daniel Vogl/Daniel Vogl/dpa/AP

Kissinger meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing in July 2023.

Kissinger meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing in July 2023. CNS/AFP/Getty Images

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