Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger Shankbone Metropolitan Opera 2009.jpg
56th United States Secretary of State
In office
September 22, 1973 – January 20, 1977
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
DeputyKenneth Rush
Robert Ingersoll
Charles Robinson
Preceded byWilliam Rogers
Succeeded byCyrus Vance
8th United States National Security Advisor
In office
January 20, 1969 – November 3, 1975
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
DeputyRichard Allen
Alexander Haig
Brent Scowcroft
Preceded byWalt Rostow
Succeeded byBrent Scowcroft
Personal details
Born
Heinz Alfred Kissinger

(1923-05-27) May 27, 1923 (age 95)
Fürth, Bavaria, Weimar Republic (present-day Fürth, Bavaria, Germany)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Ann Fleischer
(m. 1949; div. 1964)

Nancy Maginnes (m. 1974)
Children2
EducationCity College of New York
Lafayette College
Harvard University
(BA, MA, PhD)
Civilian awardsNobel Peace Prize
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1943–1946
RankUS Army WWII SGT.svg Sergeant
Unit970th Counter Intelligence Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II
Military awardsBronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star

Henry Alfred Kissinger (ər/;[1] German: [ˈkɪsɪŋɐ]; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923) is an American elder statesman, political scientist, diplomat, geopolitical and consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest.[2] Kissinger later sought, unsuccessfully, to return the prize after the ceasefire failed.[3][4]

A practitioner of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, engaged in what became known as shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.S. involvement in a military coup in Chile, a "green light" to Argentina's military junta for their Dirty War, and U.S. support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh War despite the genocide being perpetrated by his allies.[5] After leaving government, he formed Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. Kissinger has been a prolific author of books on diplomatic history and international relations with over one dozen books authored.

He remains a controversial figure in American history. Some journalists, political activists and human rights lawyers have condemned Kissinger as a war criminal.[6][7][8] According to a 2014 survey by Foreign Policy magazine 32.21% of "America's top International Relations scholars" considered Henry Kissinger the most effective U.S. Secretary of State since 1965.[9]

Early life and education

Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Fürth, Bavaria, Weimar Republic (present-day Fürth, Bavaria, Germany) in 1923 to a family of German Jews.[10] His father, Louis Kissinger (1887–1982), was a schoolteacher. His mother, Paula (Stern) Kissinger (1901–1998), from Leutershausen, was a homemaker. Kissinger has a younger brother, Walter Kissinger (born 1924). The surname Kissinger was adopted in 1817 by his great-great-grandfather Meyer Löb, after the Bavarian spa town of Bad Kissingen.[11] In youth, Heinz enjoyed playing soccer, and played for the youth wing of his favorite club, SpVgg Fürth, which was one of the nation's best clubs at the time.[12] In 1938, when Kissinger was 15 years old, fleeing Nazi persecution, his family briefly emigrated to London, England, before arriving in New York on September 5.

Kissinger spent his high school years in the Washington Heights section of Upper Manhattan as part of the German Jewish immigrant community that resided there at the time. Although Kissinger assimilated quickly into American culture, he never lost his pronounced German accent, due to childhood shyness that made him hesitant to speak.[13][14] Following his first year at George Washington High School, he began attending school at night and worked in a shaving brush factory during the day.[15]

Following high school, Kissinger enrolled in the City College of New York, studying accounting. He excelled academically as a part-time student, continuing to work while enrolled. His studies were interrupted in early 1943, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army.[16]

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العربية: هنري كسنجر
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беларуская: Генры Кісінджэр
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Генры Кісынджэр
български: Хенри Кисинджър
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српски / srpski: Хенри Кисинџер
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Henry Kissinger
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українська: Генрі Кіссинджер
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