George Shultz: The Man Who Brought An End to The Cold War Dies at 100

Published February 8th, 2021 - 07:38 GMT
 In this file photo former US Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State George Shultz testifies before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 29, 2000 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's genial secretary of state who identified a diplomatic opening that helped end the Cold War but contributed to a new brand of conflict by advocating preemptive strikes, has died. He was 100. "One of the most consequential policymakers of all time, having served three American pres
In this file photo former US Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State George Shultz testifies before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 29, 2000 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's genial secretary of state who identified a diplomatic opening that helped end the Cold War but contributed to a new brand of conflict by advocating preemptive strikes, has died. He was 100. "One of the most consequential policymakers of all time, having served three American presidents, George P. Shultz died February 6, 2021 at age 100," the Hoover Institution think tank said in a statement published on its website. MARIO TAMA / AFP
Highlights
He achieved the rare feat of holding four Cabinet posts, also serving as secretary of the Treasury, as secretary of labor and as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

George Shultz, the US secretary of state who survived bitter infighting in President Ronald Reagan's administration to help forge a new era in American-Soviet relations and bring on the end of the Cold War, died at age 100, the California-based Hoover Institute has said.

Shultz died on Saturday at his home on the campus of Stanford University, where he was a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank, and professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

A cause of death was not provided.

A man of broad experience and talents, Shultz achieved success in statesmanship, business and academia. 

His efforts as America's top diplomat from 1982 to 1989 under the Republican Reagan helped lead to the conclusion of the four-decade-long Cold War that began after World War Two, pitting the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and the communist bloc and generating fears of a global nuclear conflict.

"One of the most consequential policymakers of all time, having served three American presidents, George P. Shultz died February 6 at age 100," the Hoover Institution think tank said in a statement on its website.

Nuclear forces treaty

Shultz, a steady, patient and low-key man who became one of the longest-serving secretaries of state, steered to completion a historic treaty scrapping superpower medium-range nuclear missiles and set a pattern for dealings between Moscow and Washington that made human rights a routine agenda item.

He achieved the rare feat of holding four Cabinet posts, also serving as secretary of the Treasury, as secretary of labor and as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Shultz remained active into his 90s through a position at Stanford University's Hoover Institution think tank and various boards. 

He also wrote books and took stands against the Cuban embargo, climate change and Britain's departure from the European Union.

Before joining the Reagan administration, the New York City native served in senior positions under Republican President Richard Nixon, who made him labor secretary (1969–70), the first director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (1970–72) and treasury secretary (1972–1974). 

He previously was on Republican President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers.

Shultz's background was in economics. After leaving the Nixon administration in 1974, he went to Bechtel Corp, the international construction firm, eventually becoming its president. He stayed there until Reagan asked him to replace Alexander Haig, who resigned under pressure as secretary of state in 1982.

In achieving the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty in 1987 and helping forge new relations with the Kremlin, Shultz prevailed over hard-liners. 

The Cold War ended in 1989 after he had left office and the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.

This article has been adapted from its original source.     


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