Henry Kissinger died on November 29 at 100 years old.
He’s the only person to serve as both Secretary of State and national security advisor at the same time.
Kissinger’s legacy has lasted decades.
He served in the administrations of both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
(NewsReady.com) – Few men understood the implications poor national security could have on a country like former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Perhaps that’s why he remained such an influential figure in American politics decades after he left office. After terrorists attacked the US in 2001, he became an important consultant for President George W. Bush’s administration.
Kissinger’s life was nothing short of incredible. He was one of the most powerful men in the world. And now he has passed away.
In 1938, when Kissinger was 15 years old, his family fled his home country of Germany. The Nazis had taken over and began discriminating against Jewish families like his. They fled to America just as Adolf Hitler began murdering Jews en masse.
Kissinger was incredibly intelligent. When he was 20 years old, in 1943, he was drafted into the US Army. He became an American citizen while in the military and was sent back to Germany. During his service, he became highly trained in military intelligence. As America advanced on Hitler, he volunteered to put his skills to use during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war was over, Kissinger received more intelligence training. He then went on to receive his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Harvard. He then remained at the university and taught for nearly 20 years.
Rise to Power
In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Kissinger to serve as national security advisor. He set out to end the war in Vietnam, which was extremely unpopular with the American people. Kissinger was successful and negotiated the agreement that ended the war. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Nixon went on to appoint Kissinger to serve as Secretary of State as well. He’s the only person to ever serve in both positions simultaneously. When Nixon resigned from office, Kissinger stayed on as Secretary of State under President Gerald Ford. From 1969 to 1977, he was one of the most powerful people in the world and shaped US foreign policy in an enduring way.
Kissinger opened Chinese and US relations. That relationship remains one of the most important in the world. However, he faced criticism for his treatment of Taiwan and his role in shaping the One China policy. He has vehemently disagreed with the way the US has put Taiwan at the center of its relationship with China in recent years, especially under President Joe Biden.
Additionally, the former secretary helped shape US policy with Israel, the rest of the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere. He also faced fierce opposition for his record on human rights.
Kissinger will go down in history as having touched nearly every aspect of American diplomacy.
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