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KISSINGER, Henry Alfred (1923- )

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KISSINGER, Henry Alfred (1923- ), German-American scholar and Nobel laureate, statesman, secretary of state under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. Kissinger was born in Fürth, Germany, May 23, 1923. He was brought to the U.S. by his parents in 1938, became a citizen five years later, and was educated at Harvard University. From 1943 to 1946 Kissinger served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army. In his first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy (1957), Kissinger advocated flexibility in U.S. foreign military activities; it is regarded as a primary source book in American foreign policy. He began to teach in the department of government at Harvard in 1954, the year in which he was awarded a Ph.D. In the 1950s and '60s he served as an occasional foreign-policy adviser to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson; he also conducted studies for several government agencies, as well as for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and for the Brookings Institution. In 1969 Kissinger became the assistant to President Nixon for national security affairs. In this post he became influential in establishing and implementing U.S. foreign policy. He accompanied President Nixon to China and the USSR in 1972. He also represented the U.S. in negotiations toward settlement of the war in Indochina. In January 1973 Kissinger's efforts finally resulted in an agreement establishing a cease-fire in Vietnam. For this achievement he shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with the North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho. In August 1973 President Nixon appointed Kissinger secretary of state; he was the first foreign-born citizen to hold this post. Under President Ford, Kissinger continued as secretary of state. He negotiated a disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt in late 1975 but worked without success to arrange a racial settlement in southern Africa, particularly Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1976. After leaving office in early 1977, Kissinger joined the faculty of Georgetown University. He wrote about his government service in The White House Years (1979) and Years of Upheaval (1982).


Even a paranoid can have enemies.

HENRY A. KISSINGER, quoted in Time
Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.

HENRY A. KISSINGER, quoted in The Observer
Power is the great aphrodisiac.

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