127 Facts About Henry Kissinger


Henry Alfred Kissinger is an American diplomat, political theorist, geopolitical consultant, and politician who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.


Henry Kissinger was a Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938.


Henry Kissinger has been associated with such controversial policies as the US bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, US involvement in the 1973 Chilean military coup, a "green light" to Argentina's military junta for their Dirty War, and US support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War despite a genocide being perpetrated by Pakistan.


Henry Kissinger has written over a dozen books on diplomatic history and international relations.


Henry Kissinger remains a controversial and polarizing figure in US politics, both venerated by some as a highly effective US Secretary of State and condemned by others for allegedly tolerating or supporting war crimes committed by allied nation states during his tenure.


The surname Henry Kissinger was adopted in 1817 by his great-great-grandfather Meyer Lob, after the Bavarian spa town of Bad Kissingen.


Henry Kissinger played for the youth team of SpVgg Furth, which was one of the nation's best clubs at the time.


In 1938, when Henry Kissinger was 15 years old, he and his family fled Germany as a result of Nazi persecution.


Henry Kissinger sometimes defied the segregation imposed by Nazi racial laws by sneaking into soccer stadiums to watch matches, often resulting in beatings from security guards.


Henry 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.


Henry Kissinger excelled academically as a part-time student, continuing to work while enrolled.


Henry Kissinger's studies were interrupted in early 1943, when he was drafted into the US Army.


Henry Kissinger underwent basic training at Camp Croft in Spartanburg, South Carolina.


The army sent him to study engineering at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, but the program was canceled, and Henry Kissinger was reassigned to the 84th Infantry Division.


Henry Kissinger saw combat with the division, and volunteered for hazardous intelligence duties during the Battle of the Bulge.


Henry Kissinger was then reassigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps, where he became a CIC Special Agent holding the enlisted rank of sergeant.


Henry Kissinger was given charge of a team in Hanover assigned to tracking down Gestapo officers and other saboteurs, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star.


In June 1945, Henry Kissinger was made commandant of the Bensheim metro CIC detachment, Bergstrasse district of Hesse, with responsibility for denazification of the district.


In 1946, Henry Kissinger was reassigned to teach at the European Command Intelligence School at Camp King and, as a civilian employee following his separation from the army, continued to serve in this role.


Henry Kissinger received his MA and PhD degrees at Harvard University in 1951 and 1954, respectively.


Henry Kissinger remained at Harvard as a member of the faculty in the Department of Government where he served as the director of the Harvard International Seminar between 1951 and 1971.


Henry Kissinger released his book Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy the following year.


From 1956 to 1958, Henry Kissinger worked for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as director of its Special Studies Project.


Henry Kissinger served as the director of the Harvard Defense Studies Program between 1958 and 1971.


Keen to have a greater influence on US foreign policy, Henry Kissinger became foreign policy advisor to the presidential campaigns of Nelson Rockefeller, supporting his bids for the Republican nomination in 1960,1964, and 1968.


Henry Kissinger first met Richard Nixon at a party hosted by Clare Boothe Luce in 1967, saying that he found him more "thoughtful" than he expected.


Henry Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, and continued as Secretary of State under Nixon's successor Gerald Ford.


The relationship between Nixon and Kissinger was unusually close, and has been compared to the relationships of Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House, or Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins.


Henry Kissinger was the charming and worldly Mr Outside who provided the grace and intellectual-establishment respectability that Nixon lacked, disdained and aspired to.


Henry Kissinger had a worldview and a facility for adjusting it to meet the times, Nixon had pragmatism and a strategic vision that provided the foundations for their policies.


Tho declined to accept the award and Henry Kissinger appeared deeply ambivalent about it - he donated his prize money to charity, did not attend the award ceremony, and later offered to return his prize medal.


Henry Kissinger initially had little interest in China when he began his work as National Security Adviser in 1969, and the driving force behind the rapprochement with China was Nixon.


Henry Kissinger made two trips to China in July and October 1971 to confer with Premier Zhou Enlai, then in charge of Chinese foreign policy.


Henry Kissinger gave way by promising to pull US forces out of Taiwan, saying two-thirds would be pulled out when the Vietnam war ended and the rest to be pulled out as Sino-American relations improved.


In October 1971, as Henry Kissinger was making his second trip to the People's Republic, the issue of which Chinese government deserved to be represented in the United Nations came up again.


Out of concern to not be seen abandoning an ally, the United States tried to promote a compromise under which both Chinese regimes would be UN members, although Henry Kissinger called it "an essentially doomed rearguard action".


Bush was lobbying for the "two Chinas" formula, Henry Kissinger was removing favorable references to Taiwan from a speech that Rogers was preparing, as he expected China to be expelled from the UN.


Henry Kissinger said that the United States could not totally sever ties with Chiang, who had been an ally in World War II.


Henry Kissinger told Nixon that Bush was "too soft and not sophisticated" enough to properly represent the United States at the UN, and expressed no anger when the UN General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and give China's seat on the UN Security Council to the People's Republic.


Henry Kissinger's trips paved the way for the groundbreaking 1972 summit between Nixon, Zhou, and Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, as well as the formalization of relations between the two countries, ending 23 years of diplomatic isolation and mutual hostility.


Henry Kissinger's diplomacy led to economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides and the establishment of "liaison offices" in the Chinese and American capitals, though full normalization of relations with China would not occur until 1979.


When he came into office in 1969, Henry Kissinger favored a negotiating strategy under which the United States and North Vietnam would sign an armistice and agreed to pull their troops out of South Vietnam while the South Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were to agree to a coalition government.


Henry Kissinger had doubts about Nixon's theory of "linkage", believing that this would give the Soviet Union leverage over the United States and unlike Nixon was less concerned about the ultimate fate of South Vietnam.


In early 1969, Henry Kissinger was opposed to the plans for Operation Menu, the bombing of Cambodia, fearing that Nixon was acting rashly with no plans for the diplomatic fall-out, but on March 16,1969.


In June 1971, Henry Kissinger supported Nixon's effort to ban the Pentagon Papers saying the "hemorrhage of state secrets" to the media was making diplomacy impossible.


Thieu refused to sign the peace agreement and demanded very extensive amendments that Henry Kissinger reported to Nixon "verge on insanity".


Henry Kissinger regarded Nixon's 69 amendments as "preposterous" as he knew Tho would never accept them.


Henry Kissinger wrote to the Nobel Committee that he accepted the award "with humility", and "donated the entire proceeds to the children of American servicemembers killed or missing in action in Indochina".


Henry Kissinger maintained at the time, and still maintains, that if only Congress had approved of his request for another $700 million South Vietnam would have been able to resist.


On November 4,1972, Henry Kissinger agreed to an interview with Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci.


Henry Kissinger later claimed that it was "the single most disastrous conversation I have ever had with any member of the press".


Christopher Clary argues that Nixon and Henry Kissinger were unconsciously biased, leading them to overestimate the likelihood of Pakistani victory against Bengali rebels.


Henry Kissinger was particularly concerned about the expansion of Soviet influence in the Indian subcontinent as a result of a treaty of friendship recently signed by India and the USSR, and sought to demonstrate to the People's Republic of China the value of a tacit alliance with the United States.


Henry Kissinger said "the Indians are bastards", shortly before the war.


The "linkage" concept more applied to the question of security as Henry Kissinger noted that the United States was going to sacrifice NATO for the sake of "citrus fruits".


In 1973, Henry Kissinger did not feel that pressing the Soviet Union concerning the plight of Jews being persecuted there was in the interest of US foreign policy.


Henry Kissinger later admitted that he was so engrossed with the Paris peace talks to end the Vietnam war that he and others in Washington missed the significance of the Egyptian-Saudi alliance.


Henry Kissinger delayed telling President Richard Nixon about the start of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 in order to keep him from interfering in the nascent conflict.


Henry Kissinger wanted to stall a ceasefire to gain more time for Israel to push across the Suez Canal to the African side, and wanted to be perceived as a mere presidential emissary who needed to consult the White House all the time as a stalling tactic.


Henry Kissinger promised the Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that the United States would replace its losses in equipment after the war, but sought initially to delay arm shipments to Israel, as he believed it would improve the odds of making peace along the lines of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.


On November 7,1973, Henry Kissinger flew to Riyadh to meet King Faisal and to ask him to end the oil embargo in exchange for promising to be "even handed" in the Arab-Israeli dispute.


Only on March 19,1974, did the king end the oil embargo, after Sadat reported to him that the United States was being more "even handed" and after Henry Kissinger had promised to sell Saudi Arabia weapons that it had previously denied under the grounds that they might be used against Israel.


Henry Kissinger's first meeting with Hafez al-Assad lasted 6 hours and 30 minutes, causing the press to believe for a moment that he had been kidnapped by the Syrians.


Henry Kissinger had avoided involving France and the United Kingdom, the former European colonial powers of the Middle East, in the peace negotiations that followed the Yom Kippur, being primarily focused on minimising the Soviet Union's sway over the peace negotiations and on moderating the international influences on the Arab-Israeli conflict.


In May 1972, Nixon and Henry Kissinger visited Tehran to tell the Shah that there would be no "second-guessing of his requests" to buy American weapons.


Henry Kissinger later wrote that after Vietnam, there was no possibility of deploying American forces in the Middle East, and henceforward Iran was to act as America's surrogate in the Persian Gulf.


Henry Kissinger described the Baathist regime in Iraq as a potential threat to the United States and believed that building up Iran and supporting the peshmerga was the best counterweight.


Some years later, Henry Kissinger expressed the opinion that the Cyprus issue was resolved in 1974.


However, Henry Kissinger never felt comfortable with the way he handled the Cyprus issue.


The Nixon administration, with Henry Kissinger's input, authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to encourage a military coup that would prevent Allende's inauguration, but the plan was not successful.


Previously, Henry Kissinger had helped secure his release from prison, and had chosen to cancel an official US letter to Chile warning them against carrying out any political assassinations.


On September 10,2001, the family of Chilean general Rene Schneider filed a suit against Henry Kissinger, accusing him of collaborating in arranging Schneider's kidnapping which resulted in his death.


Henry Kissinger took a similar line as he had toward Chile when the Argentine Armed Forces, led by Jorge Videla, toppled the elected government of Isabel Peron in 1976 with a process called the National Reorganization Process by the military, with which they consolidated power, launching brutal reprisals and "disappearances" against political opponents.


An October 1987 investigative report in The Nation broke the story of how, in a June 1976 meeting in the Hotel Carrera in Santiago, Henry Kissinger gave the military junta in neighboring Argentina the "green light" for their own clandestine repression against leftwing guerrillas and other dissidents, thousands of whom were kept in more than 400 secret concentration camps before they were executed.


He, at one time in fact, sent me a back-channel telegram saying that the Foreign Minister, who had just come for a visit to Washington and had returned to Buenos Aires, had gloated to him that Henry Kissinger had said nothing to him about human rights.


Henry Kissinger was in favor of accommodating Brazil while it pursued a nuclear weapons program in the 1970s.


Henry Kissinger justified his position by arguing that Brazil was a US ally and on the grounds that it would benefit private nuclear industry actors in the US Henry Kissinger's position on Brazil was out of sync with influential voices in the US Congress, the State Department, and the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.


In September 1976, Henry Kissinger was actively involved in negotiations regarding the Rhodesian Bush War.


Henry Kissinger, bringing the weight of the United States, and corralling other relevant parties to put pressure on Rhodesia, hastened the end of white minority rule.


In contrast to the unfriendly disposition of the previous Kennedy and Johnson administrations towards the racist, corporatist Estado Novo regime of Portugal, particularly with regards to its stubborn, quixotic attempts to maintain the Portuguese Colonial Empire by waging the Portuguese Colonial War against anti-colonial rebellions in defence of its empire, the Department of State under Henry Kissinger adopted a more conciliatory attitude towards Portugal.


Henry Kissinger expressed concern that the inclusion of the Portuguese Communist Party in the new Portuguese government could legitimise communist parties in other NATO member states, such as Italy.


In February 1976, Henry Kissinger considered launching air strikes against ports and military installations in Cuba, as well as deploying US Marine Corps battalions based at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, in retaliation for Cuban President Fidel Castro's decision in late 1975 to send troops to newly independent Angola to help the MPLA in its fight against UNITA and South Africa during the start of the Angolan Civil War.


At the height of the 1975 Sahara crisis, Henry Kissinger misled Gerald Ford into thinking the International Court of Justice had ruled in favor of Morocco.


Henry Kissinger was aware in advance of the Moroccan plans for the invasion of the territory, materialized on November 6,1975, in the so-called Green March.


Henry Kissinger was involved in furthering cooperation between America and the Zaire dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and held multiple meetings with him.


Henry Kissinger left office as Secretary of State when Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Republican Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential elections.


Henry Kissinger continued to participate in policy groups, such as the Trilateral Commission, and to maintain political consulting, speaking, and writing engagements.


Henry Kissinger was then appointed to Georgetown University's Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Henry Kissinger taught at Georgetown's Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service for several years in the late 1970s.


Henry Kissinger serves on the board of directors of Hollinger International, a Chicago-based newspaper group, and as of March 1999, was a director of Gulfstream Aerospace.


In September 1989, the Wall Street Journals John Fialka disclosed that Henry Kissinger took a direct economic interest in US-China relations in March 1989 with the establishment of China Ventures, Inc.


Henry Kissinger was criticised for not disclosing his role in the venture when called upon by ABC's Peter Jennings to comment the morning after the June 4,1989, Tiananmen Square massacre.


Henry Kissinger's position was generally supportive of Deng Xiaoping's decision to use the military against the demonstrating students and he opposed economic sanctions.


From 1995 to 2001, Henry Kissinger served on the board of directors for Freeport-McMoRan, a multinational copper and gold producer with significant mining and milling operations in Papua, Indonesia.


Henry Kissinger served as the 22nd Chancellor of the College of William and Mary from 2000 to 2005.


Henry Kissinger was preceded by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and succeeded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.


From 2000 to 2006, Henry Kissinger served as chairman of the board of trustees of Eisenhower Fellowships.


Henry Kissinger stepped down as chairman on December 13,2002, rather than reveal his business client list, when queried about potential conflicts of interest.


In December 2008, Henry Kissinger was given the American Patriot Award by the National Defense University Foundation "in recognition for his distinguished career in public service".


On November 17,2016, Henry Kissinger met with then President-elect Donald Trump during which they discussed global affairs.


Henry Kissinger met with President Trump at the White House in May 2017.


Henry Kissinger argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to weaken Hillary Clinton, not elect Donald Trump.


Henry Kissinger shared similarly critical views on Western involvement in Kosovo.


Robinson noted that Henry Kissinger had criticized the administration for invading with too few troops, for disbanding the Iraqi Army as part of de-Baathification, and for mishandling relations with certain allies.


Henry Kissinger said in April 2008 that "India has parallel objectives to the United States", and he called it an ally of the US.


Henry Kissinger was present at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.


In 2011, Henry Kissinger published On China, chronicling the evolution of Sino-American relations and laying out the challenges to a partnership of "genuine strategic trust" between the US and China.


Henry Kissinger previously said that a potential war between China and the United States would be "worse than the world wars that ruined European civilization".


Henry Kissinger further wrote in August 2017 that if the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran and its Shiite allies were allowed to fill the territorial vacuum left by a militarily defeated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the region would be left with a land corridor extending from Iran to the Levant "which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire".


In December 2016, Henry Kissinger advised then President-elect Donald Trump to accept "Crimea as a part of Russia" in an attempt to secure a rapprochement between the United States and Russia, whose relations soured as a result of the Crimean crisis.


In 2019, Henry Kissinger wrote about the increasing tendency to give control of nuclear weapons to computers operating with artificial intelligence that: "Adversaries' ignorance of AI-developed configurations will become a strategic advantage".


Henry Kissinger argued that giving power to launch nuclear weapons to computers using algorithms to make decisions would eliminate the human factor and give the advantage to the state that had the most effective AI system as a computer can make decisions about war and peace far faster than any human ever could.


Henry Kissinger noted there was always the danger that a computer could make a decision to start a nuclear war before diplomacy had been exhausted, or for a reason that would not be understandable to the operators.


Henry Kissinger warned the use of AI to control nuclear weapons would impose "opacity" on the decision-making process as the algorithms that control the AI system are not readily understandable, destabilizing the decision-making process:.


Henry Kissinger added that the virus does not know borders although global leaders are trying to address the crisis on a mainly national basis.


Henry Kissinger stressed that the key is not a purely national effort but greater international cooperation.


In May 2022, speaking to the World Economic Forum on the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Henry Kissinger advocated for a diplomatic settlement that would restore the status quo ante bellum, effectively ceding Crimea and parts of Donbas to Russian control.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected Henry Kissinger's suggestions, saying Ukraine would not agree to peace until Russia agreed to return Crimea and the Donbas region to Ukraine.


On 18 January 2023 Henry Kissinger was interviewed by Graham Allison for a World Economic Forum audience; he said that US support should be intensified until either the 24 February borders are reached or the 24 February borders are recognized, upon which time under a ceasefire agreement negotiations would begin.


Henry Kissinger feels that Russia needs to be given an opportunity to rejoin the comity of nations while the sanctions are maintained until final settlement is reached.


Henry Kissinger expressed his admiration for president Zelensky and lauded the heroic conduct of the Ukrainian people.


Henry Kissinger feels that the invasion has ipso facto its logical outcome pointed to NATO membership for Ukraine at the end of the peace process.


Henry Kissinger's record was brought up during the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries.


Hillary Clinton had cultivated a close relationship with Henry Kissinger, describing him as a "friend" and a source of "counsel".


In February 1982, at the age of 58, Henry Kissinger underwent coronary bypass surgery.


Henry Kissinger described Diplomacy as his favorite game in a 1973 interview.


Henry Kissinger was named chairman of the North American Soccer League board of directors in 1978.