Henry Kissinger Net Worth
Henry Kissinger has an estimated net worth of $50 million. Diplomat Henry Kissinger was U.S. secretary of state under Richard Nixon, winning the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for the Vietnam War accords. He earns most of his income from his political career, business and book deals.
Before taking charge of US foreign policy, Henry Kissinger was a Harvard professor. He was appointed Secretary of State by President Richard Nixon in 1973, and he shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Paris Peace Accords during the Vietnam War. He was later chastised for some of his clandestine actions both at home and abroad. Kissinger is also an accomplished author.
To calculate the net worth of Henry Kissinger, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:
|Net Worth:||$50 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$20 Thousand|
|Annual Income:||$3 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Politician, Businessperson, Diplomat, Author, Statesman|
Henry Kissinger was born on May 27, 1923, in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany, as Heinz Alfred Kissinger. Kissinger’s mother, Paula Stern, was from a well-to-do family, and his father, Louis Kissinger, was a teacher. Kissinger was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household and spent two hours a day studying the Bible and the Talmud as a child.
Kissinger’s youth Germany was still reeling from World War I defeat and the humiliating and crippling terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Such national emasculation paved the way for Nazism’s intense German nationalism, in which many Germans increasingly treated Germany’s Jewish population as outsiders and scapegoats for their misfortunes.
Kissinger was subjected to anti-Semitism on a daily basis as a child. He was an avid soccer fan who defied laws prohibiting Jews from attending professional sporting events by attending matches, despite receiving several beatings from stadium guards.
Local gangs of Nazi youth regularly abused him and his friends. These events undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Kissinger. According to one of his childhood friends, “You can’t grow up like we did and expect to be unaffected. Every day, there were slurs in the streets, anti-Semitic remarks, and filthy language directed at you.”
Kissinger grew up shy, introverted, and bookish. “He resigned,” his mother recalled. “He wasn’t always outgoing because he was lost in his books.” Kissinger excelled at the neighborhood Jewish school and aspired to attend the Gymnasium, a prestigious state-run high school. The school, however, had stopped accepting Jews by the time he was old enough to apply. When Kissinger was 15 years old, his family decided to flee Germany for the United States, sensing the impending tragedy of the Holocaust.
Kissinger’s family sailed from London to New York City on August 20, 1938. When he arrived in the United States, his family was extremely poor, so Kissinger immediately went to work in a shaving brush factory to supplement his family’s income.
Kissinger enrolled at New York’s George Washington High School at the same time, where he learned English quickly and excelled in all of his classes. “He was the most serious and mature of the German refugee students, and I think those students were more serious than our own,” one of his teachers later recalled of Kissinger. Kissinger graduated from high school in 1940 and went on to study accounting at the City College of New York.
Kissinger became a naturalized American citizen in 1943 and was soon drafted into the army to fight in World War II. Thus, only five years after leaving, Kissinger found himself back in Germany, fighting the very Nazi regime from which he had fled. He was a rifleman in France before becoming a G-2 intelligence officer in Germany. During the war, Kissinger changed his mind about becoming an accountant and instead decided to become an academic with a focus on political history.
When he returned to the United States in 1947, he was admitted to Harvard University to finish his undergraduate studies. Kissinger’s senior thesis, completed in 1950, was a 383-page tome that covered a wide range of topics, including the meaning of history. According to Walter Issacson’s 1992 biography, this “Kissinger Rule” is most likely a myth. His daunting manuscript, unrefined but brilliant, prompted the university to impose a rule limiting the length of future theses.
Kissinger decided to stay at Harvard after receiving his summa cum laude in 1950 to pursue a Ph.D. in the Department of Government. A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh, and the Problems of Peace, 1812-1822, his 1954 dissertation, examined Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich’s efforts to reestablish a legitimate international order in Europe in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. Metternich had a significant impact on Kissinger’s later foreign policy decisions, most notably his firm belief that even a deeply flawed world order was preferable to revolution and chaos.
Kissinger accepted a position on the Harvard faculty in the Department of Government after receiving his doctorate in 1954. Kissinger rose to prominence in academic circles with his 1957 book Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, which argued against President Dwight Eisenhower’s policy of threatening massive retaliation in order to deter Soviet aggression. Instead, Kissinger advocated for a “flexible” response strategy, arguing that a limited war fought with conventional forces and tactical nuclear weapons could be won. From 1954 to 1969, he was a member of the Harvard faculty, earning tenure in 1959.
Outside of academia, Kissinger kept one eye on policymaking in Washington, D.C. In addition to teaching at Harvard, he served as a special advisor on foreign policy to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968.
Then, in 1969, incoming President Richard Nixon appointed Kissinger as national security advisor, and he finally left Harvard. Kissinger would go on to become one of the most dominant, influential, and divisive statesmen in American history, serving as Secretary of State from 1969 to 1975 and again from 1973 to 1977.
The Vietnam War was Kissinger’s greatest foreign policy test. The Vietnam War had become enormously costly, deadly, and unpopular by the time he became national security advisor in 1969. To achieve “peace with honor,” Kissinger combined diplomatic initiatives and troop withdrawals with devastating bombing campaigns on North Vietnam, all with the goal of improving the American bargaining position and maintaining the country’s credibility with both allies and enemies.
Winning the Nobel Peace Prize
Kissinger and his North Vietnamese negotiating partner, Le Duc Tho, signed a ceasefire agreement on January 27, 1973, effectively ending direct American involvement in the conflict. Both men were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, but Duc declined, leaving Kissinger as the sole recipient.
Nonetheless, Kissinger’s handling of the Vietnam War was divisive. His “peace with honor” strategy dragged the war out for four years, from 1969 to 1973, killing 22,000 American troops and countless Vietnamese. Furthermore, he launched a covert bombing campaign in Cambodia, causing devastation and assisting the genocidal Khmer Rouge to seize power.
Chinese-American Relations, Yom Kippur War
Kissinger, in addition to ending the Vietnam War, achieved a slew of other foreign policy triumphs. He made two secret trips to China in 1971, paving the way for President Nixon’s historic visit in 1972 and the normalization of Chinese-American relations in 1979.
Kissinger was also instrumental in bringing about the détente between the United States and the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. He helped to ease tensions between the two Cold War superpowers by negotiating the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972. When détente was threatened by the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 between Israel, an American ally, and Egypt, a Soviet ally, Kissinger played a critical role in leading diplomatic efforts to keep the war from escalating into a global conflict.
Advising Presidents Reagan and Bush
Kissinger resigned as Secretary of State at the end of the Gerald Ford administration in 1977, but he remained an important figure in American foreign policy. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America in 1983, and he served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 1984 to 1990, under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Kissinger founded the international consulting firm Kissinger Associates in 1982, and he currently serves on the boards of several corporations and foundations. He has also written several books and numerous articles on American foreign policy and diplomatic history.
Foreign Policy Legacy
Henry Kissinger is widely regarded as the preeminent American statesman and foreign policymaker of the late twentieth century. Kissinger ended the Vietnam War and greatly improved American relations with its two main Cold War adversaries, China and the Soviet Union, thanks to his intellectual prowess and tough, skillful negotiating style.
Nonetheless, Kissinger’s ruthlessly pragmatic, at times Machiavellian tactics have earned him as many detractors as supporters. Kissinger, for example, has been chastised for bombing Cambodia, supporting the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, and orchestrating the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende.
Commentators, whether they admire or despise Kissinger, agree that the current international order is the result of his policies. “Only rarely in history do statesmen find an environment in which all factors are so malleable; before us, I thought, was the opportunity to shape events, to build a new world, harnessing the energy and dreams of the American people and mankind’s hopes,” Kissinger said.
Wife and Children
In 1974, Kissinger married philanthropist Nancy Maginnes. He has two children from his previous marriage to Ann Fleischer, whom he divorced in 1964.
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