Home People Henry A. Kissinger – Biography, Career & Legacy

Henry A. Kissinger – Biography, Career & Legacy

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Henry Kissinger, the nation’s 56th secretary of state, played a key role in influencing U.S. foreign policy on a global stage. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his part in trying to negotiate an end to the Vietnam War, he gained global fame for his strong, pragmatic influence in international diplomacy. But Kissinger’s tactics, often carried out under secrecy, were not without controversy.

Early Life and Career

Born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923 in Fuerth, Germany, Kissinger and his family, who were Jewish, fled to America in 1938 to escape the Nazi regime. Settled in New York, he became a naturalized citizen during World War II in 1943, and joined the U.S. Army, serving as a German interpreter from 1943-1946. He was awarded a Bronze Star in 1945 for his role in counterintelligence.



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