US diplomat Henry Kissinger, a key figure in shaping the post-World War II world, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 100. 

Henry Kissinger, the relentlessly ambitious US diplomat whose unapologetic promotion of raw American power helped shape the post-World War II world, died Wednesday, his consulting firm said. He was 100.

Kissinger, arguably the most identifiable Secretary of State in modern times, died at his home in Connecticut, announced Kissinger Associates, through which the late diplomat grew wealthy helping businesses for decades after his government career.

It said that Kissinger’s family would hold a private funeral, with a memorial service to take place later in New York, where Kissinger grew up after his Jewish family fled Nazi Germany.

The statement did not provide a cause of death. Kissinger had remained active even as a centenarian, traveling to China in July to meet President Xi Jinping.

While Kissinger was despised in much of the world, China’s ambassador to Washington, Xie Feng, called Kissinger a “most valued old friend” and his death a “tremendous loss for both our countries and the world.” Just as the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hailed Kissinger’s “significant contributions” to peace and stability in Asia.

Kissinger at home also enjoyed deference across the political mainstream, with incumbent Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a member of the rival Democratic Party, attending his 100th birthday party in New York.

“America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs with the passing of Henry Kissinger,” former president George W. Bush, a Republican, said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday paid tribute to Kissinger, praising his contribution to US-Soviet relations and describing him as a “wise and visionary statesman.”

Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiations to end the Vietnam War, even though the conflict did not immediately end and his North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, declined to accept the prize.

After the Watergate scandal brought down Nixon, Kissinger served under his successor, Gerald Ford. In an unprecedented arrangement reflecting his influence, Kissinger served simultaneously as Secretary of State, the country’s top diplomat, and national security advisor, the president’s right-hand aide.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years Nancy, two children from a previous marriage and five grandchildren.

Katrine Dige Houmøller, with AFP