Presidental advisor extraordinaire Henry Kissinger has died, according to the New York Times, in Connecticut. The newspaper reported on Wednesday, November 29, that he passed away at his home. Several outlets obtained a statement from his firm, Kissinger Associates. “Henry Kissinger, a respected American scholar and statesman, died today at his home in Connecticut,” the brief announcement read.
Here’s what to know about the powerful statesman who died at the age of 100 after a lengthy career in politics.
He advised 12 U.S. Presidents
Kissinger is known for advising an impressive 12 U.S. presidents between John F. Kenndy and President Joe Biden, according to the New York Times.
He was born in Germany
Henry was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in 1923 in Furth, Germany, the country’s Bavarian region. He became a naturalized citizen in the United States in New York in 1943, after his family fled Nazi Germany in 1938. According to Reuters, he was bullied by anti-Semites before leaving his home country.
He returned to Germany during World War II, along with the 84th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. He obtained a prestigious Bronze star for his work as an intelligence translator, helping round up Gestapo members, and more.
He was secretary of state to 2 U.S. Presidents
The legendary diplomat was also secretary of state to President Richard M. Nixon — and simultaneously held the position of national security adviser. When Nixon infamously resigned over the Watergate scandal in 1974, he continued to serve as secretary of state under Nixon’s successor, President Gerald R. Ford.
Henry had celebrity cachet
Henry was seen about town with a number of glamorous celebrities during his bachelor years, including Murphy Brown star Candice Bergen, That Girl star Marlo Thomas, and Bond girl Jill St. John. He was married to Ann Fleischer from 1949-1964. After his divorce from Ann, he ultimately married Nancy Maginnes in 1974. He had two children, Elizabeth and David, with his first wife, Ann.
He’s a Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Henry famously collected a 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, alongside North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho — but with the honor would come controversy. Two Nobel committee members would end up resigning over the decision to hand to award to the duo, who received it for their Paris peace talks. Many felt that their work had not yet brought peace, and therefore shouldn’t have received the monumental honor.
Musician Tom Lehrer once said of the controversy, “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”