Henry Kissinger (1923– ) is a German-born American political scientist and diplomat who played an influential role in the administrations of several presidents. Kissinger served as a security consultant during the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. In 1968, he was appointed assistant for national security affairs by Richard Nixon and later served as leader of the National Security Council and secretary of state. During the Nixon administration, Kissinger helped foster détente to alleviate Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union and helped open diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Kissinger’s greatest achievement was in the negotiation of a cease-fire agreement in Vietnam that withdrew American troops and created a framework for a peace settlement between North and South Vietnam. His role in the cease-fire earned him the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize. He continued to serve under Gerald Ford after Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Kissinger continued a career as a writer and consultant after he left the White House. He served the government in various capacities related to foreign policy and diplomacy.

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