Renowned Yet Controversial Diplomat Henry Kissinger Dead At 100

One of the most prominent — and controversial — diplomats in world history died this week at the age of 100.

According to reports, Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under President Richard Nixon and remained an influential figure in the decades since, died at his home in Connecticut.

Kissinger was an unparalleled force in crafting U.S. military policy during the Vietnam War, for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Gerald R. Ford four years later.

While his work earned him significant prominence on the national and world stage, he has faced significant criticism from those who believe his heavy-handed approach in Vietnam not only led to unnecessary civilian deaths but helped usher in the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge.

Kissinger himself repeatedly reflected on this period, including during a 2005 interview.

“For me, the tragedy of Vietnam was the divisions that occurred in the United States that made it, in the end, impossible to achieve an outcome that was compatible with the sacrifices that had been made,” he said at the time.”

Some media reports following news of his death focused on his complex legacy while others, including Rolling Stone, outright denounced him as a war criminal.

He maintained an active role in American politics throughout the Trump administration, meeting with the then-president at the White House about six years ago.

At the time, President Donald Trump said it was “an honor” to host Kissinger at the White House, calling him “a man of immense talent and experience and knowledge.”

Kissinger responded by noting that he “didn’t expect this opportunity” and called it a “great honor to be in this office.”

He offered an optimistic assessment of Trump’s potential, explaining: “I’m here at a moment when the opportunity to build a constructive, peaceful world order is very great.”

Former President George W. Bush also remembered Kissinger for “his wisdom, his charm, and his humor,” noting that he has “long admired the man who fled the Nazis as a young boy from a Jewish family, then fought them in the United States Army.”

Kissinger is survived by his wife, two children, and five grandchildren.