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American diplomat Henry Kissinger and his presence in list of events of 1970s

Key facts on American diplomat Henry Kissinger, who died at the age of 100 on Wednesday

Reuters New York Published 01.12.23, 05:27 AM
Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger File image

Here are some key facts on American diplomat Henry Kissinger, who died at the age of 100 on Wednesday:

Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Furth, a city in Germany’s Bavarian region, on May 27, 1923. As an Orthodox Jew, he was bullied by anti-Semites and in 1938 his family joined the exodus from Nazi Germany by moving to New York. He became a naturalised American in 1943.


Kissinger returned to his homeland during World War II as a member of the US Army’s 84th Infantry Division. He worked as a translator in intelligence operations and helped round up Gestapo members. He was awarded a Bronze Star.

After a standout career on the Harvard University faculty, Kissinger joined Richard Nixon’s administration as national security adviser in 1969, a job he kept after Nixon resigned and was succeeded as President by Gerald Ford. He also served as secretary of state under Nixon and Ford.

Kissinger had a hand in many epoch-changing global events of the 1970s, including the Vietnam War, the diplomatic opening of China, landmark US-Soviet arms control talks and expanded ties between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

The 1973 Nobel Peace Prize that went to Kissinger and North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho was one of the most controversial in the award’s history. They were selected for their work on the Paris peace talks, which were to have arranged the withdrawal of US troops, a ceasefire, and the preservation of the South Vietnamese government. Two members of the Nobel committee resigned over the choice and Tho declined the prize on the grounds their work had not yet brought peace.

During his bachelor days Kissinger was seen with actresses Candice Bergen, Shirley MacLaine, Jill St John, Marlo Thomas, Liv Ullman and Samantha Eggar, as well as Diane Sawyer, then a White House staffer and later an ABC News anchor. Those who knew him, however, said the playboy image was mostly a media creation.

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