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Nixon's former security adviser Kissinger has heart surgery

Dr. Henry Kissinger underwent an aortic valve replacement procedure earlier Tuesday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He was resting comfortably after the surgery.

Kissinger, 91, was former U.S. President Richard Nixon's national security adviser from 1969 to 1973, and secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.


A few years ago, Kissinger spoke with CBS News' Harry Smith about his long and storied career. Kissinger was one of the lead actors in a time that was nothing less than tumultuous. From his historical strides with China, to his controversial part in trying to end the war in Vietnam, to his brokering of peace in the Middle East, most of us can't remember U.S. foreign policy without Kissinger.

"I've had the honor that I have been able to do sometimes little, and sometimes more important, things for ten presidents, starting with Kennedy," said Kissinger. "I had a very friendly relationship with Bush 43. He invited me quite frequently to talk with him."

As Nixon's Secretary of State, Kissinger initiated relations with China in 1972. There had been no official contact between the countries for more than 20 years. Kissinger has written a new book which looks to China's history, including his place in it, as a guide to what lies ahead.

He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his role in the Vietnam peace talks - the framework for which failed when the North invaded South Vietnam two years later.

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