American diplomat Henry Kissinger dies at 100

Former diplomat and presidential adviser Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday at the age of 100, his consulting firm announced Wednesday night. 

Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut, according to a statement from Kissinger Associates. 

Known for a sprawling career in national security and foreign policy, Kissinger served as national security adviser from 1969 to 1975 under President Nixon. While serving as security adviser, Nixon appointed him as the 56th Sectary of State, becoming the first person to ever serve as both secretary of state and national security adviser.

He remained secretary of state under former President Ford, who then removed him from his role as national security adviser. 

Kissinger, born in 1923 as Heinz Alfred Kissinger, spent the beginning of his life in Germany before his family, who is Jewish, immigrated to the U.S. after the Nazis seized power. Once in the U.S., Kissinger changed his name to Henry. 

He went on to serve in the U.S. army as a German interpreter during World War II. Following the war, Kissinger attended Harvard University and graduated with a bachelors degree in 1950 and PhD in 1954. He stayed at the Ivy League as a faculty member and eventual associate director of Harvard’s Department of Government and Center for International Affairs. 

His career transitioned to government work by the 1960s, where he served as a consultant for several government agencies before Nixon appointed him as a national security adviser. 

He entered the State Department weeks before Egypt and Israel launched a surprise attack on Israel and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War broke out. Under his direction, Kissinger helped ensure Israel received U.S. supplies and later began several “shuttle diplomacy” missions where he travelled between Middle East regions to help mediate negotiations between Israel and Egypt and later between Syria and Israel. 

After stepping down as secretary of state, Kissinger remained an adviser on foreign policy issues, later chairing the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America. He later served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under former Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. 

Updated 9:26 p.m. ET

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