Henry Alfred Kissinger (born May 27, 1923) is a German-born American political scientist, diplomat, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. After his term, his opinion was still sought by many following presidents and many world leaders.
A proponent of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Various American policies of that era, including the bombing of Cambodia, remain controversial.
Kissinger is still a controversial figure today. He was honored as the first recipient of the Ewald von Kleist Award of the Munich Conference on Security Policy and currently serves as the chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm.
NOTE: Bio updated on June 14, 2011
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