George Shultz, former secretary of state, dies at 100 | February 12, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

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Community Pulse - February 12, 2021

George Shultz, former secretary of state, dies at 100

Veteran statesman served under three presidents before joining Hoover Institution at Stanford

by Stanford News Service

Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor emeritus at Stanford Graduate School of Business who served three American presidents and played a pivotal role in shaping economic and foreign policy in the late 20th century, died Feb. 6 at his home on the Stanford campus. He was 100 years old.

One of the most consequential policymakers of all time and remembered as one of the most influential secretaries of state in American history, Shultz was a key player, alongside President Ronald Reagan, in changing the direction of history by using the tools of diplomacy to bring the Cold War to an end.

Shultz's extraordinary career spanned government, academia and business. He is one of only two Americans to have held four different federal cabinet posts — State, Treasury, Labor and Office of Management and Budget. He taught at three renowned universities, and for eight years was president of a major engineering and construction company.

Condoleezza Rice, a fellow former secretary of state and current director of the Hoover Institution, where Shultz served for more than 30 years until his passing, said, "Our colleague was a great American statesman and a true patriot in every sense of the word. He will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place."

Shultz first joined Stanford in 1968 and had periodic affiliations with the university throughout his public service career, finally returning to campus in 1989. Always dedicated to his students and higher education, Shultz tackled some of humanity's most difficult issues — including nuclear disarmament, climate change and democratic governance. Those issues drove him to keep working at Stanford nearly every day until his passing.

"George Shultz was a giant in public policy and world affairs, as well as a dedicated scholar and educator," said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. "He was an extraordinary role model, a consummate bridge-builder in pursuit of the public good even beyond his hundredth birthday. His remarkable life and career serve as an inspiration to all those whose lives he touched at Stanford and beyond."

In 1982, Shultz was named secretary of state at a time of heightened global tensions with the Soviet Union. Shultz implemented a foreign policy approach that eased those tensions and led to several landmark arms control treaties. Shultz also served as secretary of labor, the first director of the Office of Management and Budget and secretary of state, all under Richard Nixon.

Shultz was renowned for his patient, credible and remarkably effective approach to diplomacy, most often eschewing the limelight to defer to the presidents for whom he worked. Along with his straightforward style, he had a hard-driving commitment to solving tangled policy problems and avoiding extreme partisan politics.

Shultz was born Dec. 13, 1920, in New York City and was raised in Englewood, New Jersey.

Shultz earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in economics in 1942. After graduating, Shultz served in the Pacific theater as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942 to 1945, eventually becoming a captain. While stationed in Hawaii, Shultz met his first wife, Army nurse Helena "O'Bie" O'Brien, with whom he had five children. They were married for 49 years until her passing in 1995. He married Charlotte Mailliard, chief of protocol for the state of California, in 1997.

After his military service, Shultz continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a doctorate in industrial economics in 1949. Shultz was an assistant and, later, associate professor of economics at MIT until 1957, when he was appointed professor of industrial relations at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He served as the school's dean from 1962 to 1968, where he led efforts to establish the first scholarship for minority students at a major business school.

In 1955, Shultz took a leave of absence from Chicago to serve as a senior staff economist on President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisors.

Shultz began his association with Stanford in 1968 for a year fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS). However, his time at CASBS was cut short when Nixon asked him to join his Cabinet as secretary of labor in January 1969. In 1970, Shultz went on to become the first director of the newly formed Office of Management and Budget and then in 1972 was named secretary of the treasury, a position he held until 1974.

Shultz then accepted a part-time faculty position at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he taught in the school's Public Management Program — the first program of its kind to examine issues of public and nonprofit management and its relationship to the business sector.

During the Reagan administration, Shultz served as the chairman of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981-82), in addition to his secretary of state position. After leaving government service in 1989, Shultz rejoined Stanford and also served at the Bechtel Group in leadership posts.

Shultz's resolve for nuclear nonproliferation drew him to the renowned Stanford physicist and arms control expert, the late Sidney Drell, who served as deputy director for SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory from 1969 to 1998 and was a senior fellow at Hoover. They forged a productive professional partnership, becoming close friends and co-authoring numerous books and papers on how to rid the world of nuclear weapons, including the 2014 publication with Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, "Nuclear Security: The Problems and the Road Ahead.".

Shultz also was deeply committed to addressing climate change.

Shultz co-authored "The State Clean Energy Cookbook" — a collaboration between the Hoover Institution and the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance — that provided states with guidance on energy-efficient initiatives. He also served as chair of the advisory board of Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy.

Devoted to student life and scholarship at Stanford, Shultz established numerous fellowships for students, including the George P. Shultz Fellowship in Canadian Studies, The George and Charlotte Shultz Fellowship for Modern Israel Studies and The Shultz Graduate Student Fellowship in Economic Policy.

At Hoover, two fellows are also named in his recognition: the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs.

In addition, preparation is underway at the Lou Henry Hoover Building for the construction of the George Shultz Fellows Building, which will replace the existing structure. The new building will house Hoover fellows as well as a digital lab to serve students and scholars in new and modern ways — a lasting testimony to Shultz's keen eye toward the future.

Shultz's numerous honors include the Medal of Freedom (1989), the nation's highest civilian honor, as well as many honorary degrees. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Shultz is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and five children: Margaret Tilsworth, Kathleen Jorgensen, Peter Shultz, Barbara White and Alexander Shultz, as well as 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.


Posted by felix
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2021 at 11:12 am

felix is a registered user.

Even in death, national political figures are accountable. No mention is that his service as Secretary of State was during our country’s funding and CIA support of the illegal Contra Wars on numerous countries in Central America, resulting in the infamous Iran-Contra Scandal.

Numerous Reagan officials were convicted, in the scandal, then pardoned by Pres. GHW Bush or won court cases on technicalities.

These Central American countries and people suffered horrific atrocities and destabilization from which they have not recovered and are some of the migrants wanting asylum here now.

Mr. Shultz either did not or could not do anything to stop this crime against humanity. If the latter, the only honorable course was to resign. We waited. He did not.

Posted by Everett James
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Everett James is a registered user.

George Schultz was one of the foundations of the Reagan administration focused on ending communism once and for all.

It was a successful endeavor in that only the PRC, North Korea & Cuba remain. Russia (the former USSR) is more along the lines of a dictatorship of which there are many throughout the world.

As far as Central America is concerned, banana republics are often plagued by unstable governments due to the general illiteracy rates of it's populace so it is no surprise that these countries are often subject to political uprisings and social upheavals.

Mr. Shultz is a historically important statesman in that he ensured the safety of the United States during a specific timeframe in our nation's history.

And the same goes for Condoleeza Rice of the George W. Bush administration.

Unlike other unmentioned administrations, they did not acquiece to the likes of Iran by giving it billions of dollars and lifting certain economic sanctions for false promises of compliance.

And hopefully the new administration will play hardball with Iran and the PRc as well.

Stability in the Middle East and the Arab peninsula is predicated on this premise as is maintaining economic and military superiority over the PRC to ensure the safety and well-being of all American citizens.

The banana republics and their domestic problems are irrelevant as they have no real clout in globally relevant matters.

Posted by Caroline Beckett
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 7, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Caroline Beckett is a registered user.

The People's Republic of China remains an economic & military threat to be reckoned with.

As an emerging 21st century world power, they are striving to extend their sphere of influence as noted by their ongoing efforts to suppress Hong Kong democratic advocacy, the take-over of Nationalist Taiwan & military activities in the North China Sea.

As long as the PRC remains focused on dominating predominantly Chinese regions, the United States will probably opt to look the other way.

But if the PRC decides to assume control of countries such as Japan, Australia & South Korea, further diplomatic & military conflicts may emerge possibly leading to World War III.

One way to stem the tide is to boycott the purchasing of Chinese made goods including APPLE products as economic prosperity affords more financial resources for military expansion.

American workers need more jobs to feed, clothe & feed their families.

So try to support American business by avoiding PRC manufactured goods whenever possible. The Biden administration is also promoting this mindset in an effort to stimulate the American economy.

Why send dollars overseas to a country that is striving to destroy global democracy?

Posted by Scotty
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 7, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Scotty is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2021 at 6:07 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The Nicaraguan Contras were murderous cocaine dealing death squads, so his support of them, at the orders of Ronald Reagan, [portion removed] could never be forgiven, but compared to today's GOP, who is a highly undemocratic death cult, he was a progressive. How times have changed.

Posted by film jedi
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 8, 2021 at 11:40 am

film jedi is a registered user.

My former boss as a foreign service officer

Posted by neighbor1200
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 8, 2021 at 2:23 pm

neighbor1200 is a registered user.

George P. Shultz lived an exemplary life. He will be missed by his many friends.
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