Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, known for his influential role in shaping post-World War II global dynamics, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 100, as announced by his consulting firm.
"Dr. Henry Kissinger, a respected American scholar and statesman, died today at his home in Connecticut," Kissinger Associates announced in a statement late on Wednesday.
While the statement did not disclose the cause of death, it noted that the family would hold a private funeral, with a memorial service planned for later in New York.
Kissinger remained active even in his centenarian years, travelling to China in July to meet President Xi Jinping.
China was one of Kissinger's most lasting legacies. Hoping to shake up the Cold War fight against the Soviet Union, Kissinger secretly reached out to China, culminating in a historic 1972 visit by then-president Richard Nixon and later the US establishment of relations with Beijing.
After the Watergate scandal brought down Nixon, Kissinger served under his successor, Gerald Ford. Unprecedentedly, Kissinger served both as the secretary of state and national security adviser.
His involvement in negotiations to end the Vietnam War also earned him the Nobel Peace Prize even though the conflict continued afterward and his North Vietnamese counterpart declined to accept the prize.
However, Kissinger's realpolitik approach and involvement in controversial actions, such as undermining Chile's elected president Salvador Allende and supporting General Augusto Pinochet's coup, have left a lasting and divisive legacy. He is also said to have supported Indonesia, a close anti-communist ally, as it seized East Timor in 1975, and turned a blind eye to Pakistan's alleged mass atrocities as Bangladesh won independence in 1971, seeing Islamabad as a valuable go-between with China.