Tribute to H.E. Henry A. Kissinger
(May 27, 1923 – November 29, 2023)1997 Person of the Year
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, we regretfully inform you of the passing, on November 29, 2023 at the age of 100, of H.E. Henry A. Kissinger, American politician, diplomat, political scientist, geopolitical consultant, and longtime Chamber affiliate and supporter. Kissinger served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and was the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s 1997 Person of the Year honoree, representing the United States.
Born in Fürth, Bavaria in 1923, Kissinger and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1938, briefly landing in London and ultimately, the Washington Heights section of Upper Manhattan as part of the German-Jewish immigrant community. Kissinger served in the United States Army, during which time he became a naturalized US citizen. He excelled academically, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Harvard College (1950), a Master of Arts from Harvard University (1951), and a Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University (1954).
Serving under the presidential administrations of Ricard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977, easing geopolitical tensions with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, orchestrating an opening of relations with China, engaging in “shuttle diplomacy” in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, which prompted the withdrawal of American forces from the Vietnam War. After leaving government, he established Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm.
Over the course of his career, Kissinger wrote numerous memoirs, articles, and books on diplomatic history, public policy, and international relations – and received countless awards and distinctions, including the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his work negotiating a ceasefire in the Vietnam War and the 1997 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Gerald Ford.
Kissinger’s dialogue with the Chamber strengthened ties between Brazil and the United States and furthered the Chamber’s mission of promoting trade and investment between the two nations. His force of character, influence over wartime diplomacy and global affairs, and domination across a breadth of major foreign policy issues endure.
Kissinger is survived by his wife, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger; two children, David and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren.