Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who played a pivotal and polarising role in US foreign policy during the Cold War, has died at the age of 100.
He served as America’s top diplomat and national security adviser during the Nixon and Ford administrations.
Despite leaving office in the mid-1970s, he continued to be consulted by generations of leaders for decades.
The German-born former diplomat died at his home in Connecticut.
Kissinger’s Realpolitik style made him a controversial figure, with critics accusing him of war crimes when he and President Richard Nixon conducted a bombing campaign against Vietnamese communists in Cambodia.
And over the years, he was subject to scathing criticism from those who accused him of prioritising rivalry with the Soviet Union over human rights and supporting repressive regimes across the world, including that of Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
Former US President George W Bush led tributes, saying the US had “lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs”.
Meanwhile, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair described him as an artist of diplomacy, saying Kissinger was motivated by “a genuine love of the free world and the need to protect it”.
President Richard Nixon’s daughters, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, said that Kissinger’s life story was “so unique – and so thoroughly American”.
“Henry Kissinger will long be remembered for his many achievements in advancing the cause of peace,” the statement said. “But it was his character that we will never forget.”
Born in Germany in 1923, the school teacher’s son first came to the US in 1938 when his family fled the Nazis. He never quite lost his native Bavarian accent.