Henry Kissinger Cause of Death: Congenital Heart Failure

henry kissinger COD

Henry Kissinger, the late secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford whose decisions are linked to millions of deaths around the world, died of congenital heart failure, according to police reports newly obtained by Rolling Stone.

Kissinger died at the age of 100 in his house in Connecticut on Nov. 29. The news was confirmed in a statement from his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, but the statement did not include his cause of death.

According to Greg Grandin, the Yale University historian and author of the 2015 biography Kissinger’s Shadow, Kissinger’s foreign policy decisions under Nixon and Ford led to the premature deaths of an estimated three to four million people around the world, in countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Chile, and Argentina.

As noted in Rolling Stone’s obituary of Kissinger, he was celebrated by America’s ruling class, as well as media pundits and conservatives. Kissinger remained highly active in the months leading up to his death, attending centennial birthday celebrations put on by various elite institutions. The New York Public Library and the Economic Club of New York both threw him birthday parties in 2023, and he was the honorary keynote speaker at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner.

The police report from the day of Kissinger’s death reveals that he died in the presence of an internal medicine doctor, Alphonse Altorelli. It mentions that Kissinger took his last breath at 6:18 p.m. and was pronounced dead by Altorelli 22 minutes later at 6:40 p.m. Altorelli declined to comment. 

Ernest Chiodo, a physician, attorney, and toxicologist unaffiliated with Kissinger or his death, told Rolling Stone that those 22 minutes were likely spent conducting tests to confirm his death.

“You do some basic tests, you rub on somebody’s chest, see if there’s any pain response, you look at their pupils, see if there’s any pupillary response,” Chiodo said. “For that to take 20 minutes makes sense.”

Resuscitation procedures like CPR were unlikely to be performed if Kissinger’s family anticipated his death, Chiodo said. The police report notes that the Connecticut state attorney’s office opted to not open an investigation, “based on the fact that he was in the presence of a doctor, and due to his age.”

Kissinger had long-term difficulties with his cardiac health. He had a triple heart bypass surgery in 1982, at the age of 58. He also had an aortic valve replacement at the age of 91. 

Chiodo noted that congenital heart failure is a long-term process with a number of possible symptoms. “Your heart doesn’t pump as well as it normally should,” he said. “You have a number of different abnormalities, lungs fill up with fluid, your legs get swollen, your liver becomes swollen, you get abnormalities in the liver.”

Police reports also note that state police completed security checks on Kissinger’s home, where he lived with his wife Nancy, on the two days following his death. The house was also monitored by a “private security” officer on Dec. 1. 


“No issues with press,” the Dec. 1 police report added.

It’s unclear how long Kissinger experienced the acute symptoms of congenital heart failure, or if he reflected on the unfathomable death in the wake of his decisions. But he was able to live to the exceptional age of 100 — much longer than most of the victims of his policies, if not all of them. 

Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/henry-kissinger-cause-of-death-congenital-heart-failure-1234946127/

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