Henry Kissinger’s Life and Work in Photos


When Henry A. Kissinger, the powerful former secretary of state, died on Wednesday at 100, he left behind a complicated legacy: He advised 12 presidents and transformed the United States’ relationship with China, but came under fire for what his critics said was a fundamental disregard of human rights.

Mr. Kissinger altered almost every global relationship he touched, and he was at turns hailed as an ultrarealist who reshaped diplomacy to reflect American interests and denounced as having abandoned American values, if he thought it served the nation’s purposes.

Born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923, in Germany, he fled to the United States in 1938 to escape the Nazis. After studying and then teaching at Harvard, he joined the Nixon White House in 1969.

He shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for ending the American involvement in Vietnam, an honor that outraged his critics. After leaving the State Department, Mr. Kissinger remained in the spotlight as a consultant and a writer.

Here is a selection of images from Mr. Kissinger’s life.

The 11-year-old Heinz Kissinger, left, with his arm around his brother Walter, 10. He was 15 when the family escaped Nazi Germany. Heinz became Henry in high school in Upper Manhattan.

Mr. Kissinger in 1968. He would become national security adviser under President Richard Nixon the following year.

Nixon and Mr. Kissinger in the Oval Office in 1971. Mr. Kissinger became secretary of state two years later, but unusually he retained the title of national security adviser.

Mr. Kissinger and his children, Elizabeth and David, in 1974 in Bonn, then the capital of West Germany.

Nixon and Mr. Kissinger meeting with Mao Zedong, China’s leader, in Beijing in 1972. Mr. Kissinger had paved the way for a thaw in relations with China’s communist government — Nixon’s most famous foreign-policy accomplishment — by visiting secretly the year before.

Mr. Kissinger, with President Gerald Ford, under whom he remained secretary of state, on a train in Russia in 1974 during a visit for talks with Soviet leaders. Mr. Kissinger had helped to shepherd a first round of arms-limitation talks to a treaty in 1972.

Mr. Kissinger in front of the international press in Salzburg, Austria, 1974. As Nixon sank into the Watergate scandal, Mr. Kissinger attained a global prominence few of his successors have matched.

Nancy and Henry Kissinger on a flight between Egypt and Israel in 1975. His shuttle diplomacy at the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War was able to persuade Egypt to begin direct talks with Israel, an opening wedge to the later peace agreement between the two nations.

Mr. Kissinger signing the arms limitation treaty known as SALT at a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow in 1972 as Nixon and his Soviet counterpart Leonid Brezhnev watch. The treaty opened decades of arms-control agreements that greatly reduced the number of nuclear weapons in the world.

Mr. Kissinger speaking to the press outside the Élysée Palace in Paris in 1976.

Mr. Kissinger shaking hands with Le Duc Tho, leader of the North Vietnamese delegation, after the signing of a cease-fire agreement in the Vietnam War, in Paris in 1973.

Mr. Kissinger and Moshe Dayan, Israel’s defense minister, in Washington in 1974.

Mr. Kissinger looking out of his office window at the White House in 1973.

Mr. Kissinger being sworn in as secretary of state by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in 1973. President Nixon is behind him, and Mr. Kissinger’s mother holds the Bible.

Mr. Kissinger with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai of China in Beijing in 1971. Over two days, in 17 hours of talks with Mr. Zhou, he arranged a historic presidential trip by Nixon.

Chiao Kuan Hua, a Chinese diplomat, Mr. Kissinger and Deng Xiaoping, who would later serve as China’s leader, in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1974.

Mr. Kissinger and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in Alexandria during the Sinai II negotiations, which resulted in land being returned to Egypt, in 1975.

Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, with Mr. Kissinger in Kinshasa in 1976.

Mr. Kissinger sitting on the floor of the Iranian Embassy in Washington with Polly Bergen, an actress, during a party in 1976.

Mr. Kissinger at signing autographs at Georgetown University in 1977.

Mr. Kissinger working on his memoirs at home in 1978.

Mr. Kissinger with Diana, the Princess of Wales, at the United Cerebral Palsy of New York dinner in the 1990s.

Mr. Kissinger with the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Shimon Peres, the Israeli foreign minister, at a UNESCO event in 1994.

Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Mr. Kissinger and John Kerry, then the U.S. secretary of state, breaking ground on the U.S. Diplomacy Center at the State Department in Washington in 2014.

Protesters demonstrated behind Mr. Kissinger, George Shultz and Madeleine Albright, all former secretaries of state, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global challenges and U.S. national security in Washington in 2015.

President Xi Jinping of China and Mr. Kissinger meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing in January of this year.

Mr. Kissinger at home in Connecticut in 2022.

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