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Guido Goldman, an American bridge to Germany, dies at 83

Three years later, his father decided to move the family to America, where at one point in the bureaucratic brewing of immigration, the second ‘n’ in Mr. Goldman’s name fell, and he never bothered to replace it. He attended Birch Wathen School, now Birch Wathen Lenox School, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, before enrolling at Harvard.

Mr. Goldman never married. He is survived by his brother, who lives in Los Angeles.

In Manhattan, Mr. Goldman’s father, who was also president of the World Zionist Organization, proved essential to winning support for Israeli independence in the United Nations. He instilled in his sons a commitment to social justice, which led Mr. Goldman to support civil rights activism in the 1960s and 1970s.

But Mr Goldman’s friends said his parents could be cold and distant towards him – one of the reasons, they said, that he sought out Mr Kissinger to be his mentor at Harvard, where Mr Goldman was. graduated summa cum laude with a degree in government in 1959 and earned a doctorate in the same field a decade later. Their bond went far beyond that of a teacher and a star student; Mr. Kissinger himself described it as a “father-son relationship”.

A liberal Democrat, Mr. Goldman has not followed Mr. Kissinger to the Nixon White House. But he remained Mr Kissinger’s confidant, reporting to him after his frequent trips to West Germany to meet with key politicians. He also helped Mr. Kissinger in another way: he let him stay in his apartment when Mr. Kissinger was in New York with bodyguards in tow, and he even loaned him two works of art to hang in his office at the White House.

“It was a typical Guido thing to do,” Kissinger said in a telephone interview on Monday. “Something I didn’t ask for, something I didn’t know I needed.”

Already rich in his mother’s legacy, Mr. Goldman amassed even more wealth during the 1970s and 1980s as a real estate investor and private fund manager – money he willingly, and often anonymously, distributed to his friends and people he admired, including civil rights activists like Mr. Belafonte and Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

“He was one of the most generous connectors of friends and creators of institutions that I have ever met,” said Ms. Edelman.

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