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Remembering Henry Kissinger: His time spent at the Rancho Mirage ‘Sunnylands’ estate

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, unanimously known for his U.S. diplomatic service during the Cold War died at his Connecticut home Wednesday at the age of 100. He played a pivotal role in U.S. foreign policy and is often remembered as a fierce defender of American interests.

Something people may not know about Kissinger is the amount of time he spent in the Coachella Valley. Kissinger served as Secretary of State alongside Walter Annenberg's ambassadorship to the United Kingdom. The tenure overlapped for about a year, between 1973 and 1974, when Annenburg's ambassadorship ended in October. The two remained friends throughout their lives, leading Kissinger to frequent Annenberg's Rancho Mirage estate known as Sunnylands. It's a 200-acre estate that Walter and his wife Leonore Annenberg used as a winter retreat since 1966.

Kissinger visited the property several times, and when he did, his Sunnylands stays were often star-studded and extravagant.

Throughout the years, his signature can be found printed in the guest book four times between 1984 and 1997-- although he didn't always sign the book when he visited. One notable instance of that occurred during his visit in 1983. Kissinger attended Walter Annenberg's 75th birthday party that year. On that day a picture was taken, encapsulating the moment Kissinger stood up to give a speech for his dear friend in front of a crowd of politicians and celebrities. Pictured with him was Leonore Annenberg and Carol Price, wife of businessman and U.S. Ambassador Charles Price II.

Courtesy: Sunnylands 

In February of 1997, Kissinger once again returned to the winter retreat. That time, he was pictured next to the Annenbergs, Diane Sawyer, and Mike Nichols. With the San Jacinto Mountains in the background, Kissinger was also joined by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta and his wife Annette de la Renta.

That same year, Kissinger was also captured on a film camera sitting at a desk in his preferred guest suit. It was endearingly and appropriately nicknamed the "Yellow Room". That was his last recorded stay at Sunnylands, but Kissinger and the Annenbergs remained close until Walter Annenberg's death in 2002.

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Tori King


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