Courtesy of Library of Congress

Henry Kissinger b. 1923

As National Security Advisor and, subsequently, Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger represented the face of American diplomacy from the late 1960s until the late 1970s. The German-born diplomat won the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating a ceasefire in the Vietnam War. During Kissinger's tenure, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union eased significantly. Kissinger also played a vital role in arranging talks with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, leading to a rapprochement between the United States and the People's Republic of China. He went on to a position at Georgetown University and founded a private consulting firm.