WASHINGTON: Former US secretary of state George Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, died on Saturday. He was 100.
Schultz died 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.
The Hoover Institution announced George Schultz’s death on Sunday. The cause of death was not stated.
A life-long Republican, Shultz held three major cabinet positions in GOP administrations during a lengthy career of public service.
He was labour secretary, treasury secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget under president Richard Nixon before spending more than six years as president Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state.
Schultz was the longest serving secretary of state since World War II and had been the oldest surviving former cabinet member of any administration.
Condoleezza Rice, also a former secretary of state and current director of the Hoover Institution, praised Schultz as a great American statesman and a true patriot.
“He will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place, she said in statement.
Trust is key
He marked his 100th birthday in December by extolling the virtues of trust and bipartisanship in politics and other endeavours in a piece he wrote for The Washington Post.
“Trust is the coin of the realm,” George Shultz wrote. “When trust was in the room, whatever room that was — the family room, the schoolroom, the office room, the government room or the military room — good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.”