Thursday, May 23, 2024

Henry A. Kissinger, the powerful diplomat who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and accused of being a war criminal for his realpolitik approach to foreign affairs, had a kind of second career on the society circuit, especially in the years after he served as secretary of state under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Even as he published heavyweight books and advised presidents and business leaders on geopolitical matters, Mr. Kissinger, who died at his second home in Kent, Conn., at age 100 on Wednesday, was a frequent presence in gossip columns.

His intellectual pursuits and social aspirations fortified each other as he moved with pirouette precision through benefit galas and became part of the scene at Studio 54. He beat Donald J. Trump, whom he advised late in life, to the idea that celebrity and politics are not separate spheres in American life, and he made sure that he was firmly entrenched in both.

Henry was not designed for intellectual monasteries,” said the diplomat Richard Haass, who, as the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, often booked Mr. Kissinger to speak at events on global politics. “He was designed to be around people.

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