Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who turned 100 years old earlier this year, passed away at his Connecticut residence on Wednesday, according to a Kissinger Associates, Inc. press release.
Kissinger served as secretary of state during a portion of Republican President Richard Nixon’s White House tenure and then under President Gerald Ford after Nixon resigned.
Kissinger was born in Germany in 1923, but his Jewish family immigrated to the U.S. in 1938, according to history.state.gov, which noted that Kissinger’s name, which had been Heinz, was switched to Henry. “During World War II, Kissinger became a naturalized citizen and served in the U.S. Army as a German interpreter,” the government website notes.
“As a refugee from Nazi Germany, he had lost 13 family members and countless friends to the Holocaust. He returned to his native Germany as an American soldier, participating in the liberation of the Ahlem concentration camp near Hannover,” Kissinger’s son David wrote of his father in a Washington Post piece posted earlier this year.
“He has an unquenchable curiosity that keeps him dynamically engaged with the world. His mind is a heat-seeking weapon that identifies and grapples with the existential challenges of the day. In the 1950s, the issue was the rise of nuclear weapons and their threat to humanity. About five years ago, as a promising young man of 95, my father became obsessed with the philosophical and practical implications of artificial intelligence,” David Kissinger wrote.
GOP Rep. Mike Waltz of Florida described Kissinger as “a patriot who lived a life of great consequence.”
Republican Rep. Greg Murphy of North Carolina described Kissinger as “a man of keen insight and sage advice; the gold standard for foreign policy.”
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