George P. Shultz often cited as one of America’s greatest statesman of the Cold War era is dead. Shuktz, a former US Secretary of State, passed on at 100. He died in his home state of California, Politico reports.
He was the Secretary of State during the administration of President Ronald Reagan and contributed to ending the Cold War between the US and the USSR. Shultz’s cause of death is yet to be established.
During his active years, Shultz was the head of up to four federal departments at different periods, a rare feat in American politics. He held sway at the treasury and labor departments. He was also the head of the Office of Management and Budget under President Richard Nixon’s administration. However, it was his work at the State Department that would highlight the height of his career.
Shultz started playing an active part in presidential administrations, beginning from President Dwight Eisenhower when he was part of the Council of Economic Advisers. His influence across presidential administrations lasted even up to the Obama presidency.
Condoleezza Rice, director of the Hoover Institution, extolled the great qualities of the late Shultz. Rice, who was also Secretary of State, noted that Shultz was a statesman par excellence and represented the concept of the great American patriot. She said that history would forever be kind to him and remember him as one who sought the betterment of the world.
Shultz was also part of the Hoover Institution, where he worked for 30 years. He was still a fellow of the institution before his death. In 1989, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President Joe Biden has since reacted to the death of the former Secretary of State. He described Shultz as a man of honor with great ideas. Biden said he regretted the fact that he wouldn’t be privileged to benefit from the many years of knowledge that Shultz had accumulated. Biden noted that while he was a senator, he and the statesman sometimes clashed on issues; however, when it came to matters that concerned security and affected the American people at large, they usually came to an agreement.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was among the figures that eulogized Shultz. He called the late statesman a legend who took his stand in germane issues relating to the environment, especially as it concerned climate change at a time when it was unpopular to do so. Blinken noted that the succeeding secretary of states had the opportunity to learn from Shultz’s legacy.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Shultz helped shape the country’s foreign policy while working to change how things were done back at home. He noted that the state of California had been fortunate enough to gain from his insights.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was close to the late statesman, said the world had lost a rare gem and public servant. Pelosi said Shultz’s lifework was geared towards ensuring a better future for the coming generation.
Shultz, who spent almost seven years at the State Department, came on board when the country was going through a series of challenges, especially as it relates to diplomatic relations. When Shultz took office, the country was at the height of the Cold War with the USSR, amid conflicts in Lebanon and tensions with Mainland China.
Shultz was able to formulate far-reaching treaties with the Soviet Union, which helped bring the nuclear arms race to an end. He was one of the proponents of a world free from the dangers of atomic weapons and led the charge to abolish them.
He was born on December 13, 1920, in New York City. An alumnus of Princeton University, he joined the Marines immediately after his college education in 1942. He was married to Helena Maria O’Brien, with whom he had five children. She passed on in1995 from cancer.
After delisting from the military, he joined academia. His brilliance in the academic was identified, and soon enough, Shultz was called upon to join the Eisenhower’s administration. Between stints in the corporate world, Shultz would return to politics, where his greatest impact was felt.