Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger may have won a Nobel Peace Prize but it was his early days in Washington where he made a name for himself - being dubbed "Playboy of the Western Wing."
The diplomat, who passed away at 100 yesterday, made a lasting impact on US foreign policy after being appointed National Security Advisor for President Richard Nixon in 1969. He was appointed his Secretary Of State in 1973 and served under him and Gerald Ford until 1977.
During his time as Secretary of State, Kissinger was involved in controversial policies like the United State's involvement in a Chilean military coup in 1973 that allowed dictator Augusto Pinochet and his regime to take power, which led to thousands dead and missing, and the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War that led to thousands reportedly dead though Kissinger insisted the area was unpopulated.
However, it was during his successful political career Kissinger made a name for himself as a lady's man in Washington after becoming married twice. He divorced his wife in 1964 and later remarried Nancy, 89, in 1974, but before his second marriage, he was "Washington's greatest swinger", according to a WWD article from 1971.
The article revealed Kissinger's face "lights up" when he's asked about his life "Playboy of the Western Wing" as it is a subject "that has great appeal to him.”
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During the interview, in which Kissinger asks the journalist Kandy Stroud if she was trying to “seduce” him, noting that he liked her HotPants “very much", he revealed he loved being dubbed a ladies man. “In fact if you ask Henry how he likes being called ‘Washington’s greatest swinger,’ he replies unabashedly, "That’s no compliment. That’s faint praise,.ex-symbol,” Stroud wrote.
During his bachelor days, he had been seen with an array of women including Candice Bergen, Shirley MacLaine, Jill St. John, Marlo Thomas, Liv Ullman and Samantha Eggar, as well as Diane Sawyer, then a White House staffer. However, friends close to the diplomat claim the playboy persona was invented by the media. But in a 1972 poll of Playboy Club Bunnies, Kissinger came out on top as the main choice for “the man I would most like to go out on a date with."
The interview was around the time he was said to be dating Bond girl Jill St. John.. Both denied the rumours, with St. John telling WWD that what they had was a “great friendship” and was never and would never be a “great romance.” However, the "sex symbol of the Nixon Administration,” as described by Stroud, eventually married Manhattan-born philanthropist and Rockefeller staffer Nancy Maginnes in 1974. Kissinger was a professor at Harvard, where Magginnes was a student.