Kissinger, Henry Alfred (kĭsˈənjər) [key], 1923–, American political scientist and U.S. secretary of state (1973–77), b. Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1938. A leading expert on international relations and nuclear defense policy, Kissinger taught (1957–69) at Harvard and served as a consultant to government agencies and private foundations. As President Nixon's assistant for national security affairs (1969–73) and later as secretary of state, he played a major role in formulating U.S. foreign policy. Kissinger helped initiate (1969) the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with the Soviet Union and arranged President Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China. He supported U.S. disengagement from Vietnam and won (1973) the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the cease-fire with North Vietnam. His negotiating skill also led to a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt and the disengagement of their troops after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Kissinger continued in office after Gerald R. Ford succeeded (1974) to the presidency. Since 1977 he has lectured and served as a consultant on international affairs. His writings include Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy (1957), The Necessity for Choice (1961), The Troubled Partnership (1965), Diplomacy (1994), Does America Need a Foreign Policy? (2001), Ending the Vietnam War (2003), Crisis (2003), and On China (2011).
See his memoirs, The White House Years (1979), Years of Upheaval (1982), and Years of Renewal (1999); biographies by S. R. Graubard (1973) and W. Isaacson (1992); studies by B. and M. Kalb (1974), D. Caldwell, ed. (1983), S. Hersh (1983), R. D. Schulzinger (1989), G. A. Andrianopoulos (1991), L. Berman (2001), C. Hitchins (2001), J. Hanhimaki (2004), R. Dallek (2007), and M. Del Pero (2009).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.