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Kissinger's close friends reveal firsthand glimpse into the life and career of the diplomatic giant

FOX Nation's special, "Kissinger," explores the life and legacy of a defining figure in 20th century world affairs through the eyes of his close friends.

Although he didn't want controversy, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had a storied career in politics and spent much of his adult life in the public eye. His close friends are now shedding light on the man behind the diplomat.

"Most of the criticisms of Dr. Kissinger are deeply unfair. He was a powerful man who cared about America," former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on FOX Nation's "Kissinger" special. 

The German-born American diplomat, academic and presidential adviser who served as secretary of state for two presidents and left his stamp on U.S. foreign policy for decades, died last week at the age of 100.

FOX Nation's special "Kissinger" takes a closer look at the dominating foreign policy figure through the eyes of close friends K.T. McFarland, Mike Pompeo and Niall Ferguson. 

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HENRY KISSINGER DEAD AT 100

Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Germany, on May 27, 1923. His family later fled the Nazis and arrived in the U.S. when he was 15.

His breakout in global politics came in 1969 when he was appointed national security adviser to President Richard Nixon. From there, he rose to the position of secretary of state, serving in both the Nixon and Ford administrations.

As a diplomat, he was known for being a staunch proponent of realpolitik. Some of his crowning achievements included pushing for peace in the Middle East, helping restore ties between the U.S. and China, and initiating the Paris peace talks that ultimately led to the U.S. getting out of the Vietnam War. He also pushed for the détente policy with the Soviet Union.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HENRY KISSINGER, A DOMINANT FIGURE IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS IN THE 1970S

Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his role in negotiating the Paris Peace Accords to end direct U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and an end to the war.

"He was always able to look at an issue not from only the perspective of the United States and our interests, but what about the other country? What did they need? What did that leader need for his own domestic purposes, for his own foreign policy?" Former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland said during the FOX Nation special.

"And that was why Kissinger, I think, was so ultimately successful."

McFarland, who first met Kissinger at 18 while working as his nighttime secretary in the White House situation room, described the diplomat as first a boss, then a mentor and finally a friend.

Pompeo met Kissinger around 2013 after he was nominated for CIA director and said the former National Security Council head was a great mentor.

"His wisdom was enormously important. His insights proved, over the course of four years, incredibly valuable to me," Pompeo said.

Despite his impressive portfolio, Kissinger was not without criticism. He acquired a reputation as a ladies’ man and was also accused of needlessly prolonging the Vietnam War at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. 

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While there were other criticisms, "Kissinger 1923 to 1968: The Idealist" author Niall Ferguson claimed the leader's legacy could not be simplified as a "saintly figure" or "Bond villain."

"You can't really just portray Henry Kissinger as either a saintly figure, Super K, the ultimate diplomat. Nor can you portray him simply as a kind of Bond villain, that Dr. Evil figure, as some of his critics like to do. These two versions are just wild oversimplifications," he said. 

Kissinger made history during his lifetime, and his legacy continues to leave an impact on U.S. and foreign policy. To catch a glimpse at the life of a defining figure in 20th century world affairs, watch FOX Nation's "Kissinger," now streaming.

Fox Nation programs are viewable on-demand and from your mobile device app, but only for Fox Nation subscribers. Go to Fox Nation to start a free trial and watch the extensive library from your favorite Fox Nation personalities.

FOX News' Adam Sabes contributed to this report.

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