George Shultz — a former secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, who also worked for Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower; in the process becoming one of the few Cabinet secretaries under multiple presidents — has died. He was 100.
Stanford University confirmed the news on Sunday, announcing that Shultz died Saturday at his home on the college's campus.
The school described Shultz as a "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."
Aside from serving as Reagan's secretary of state, Shultz held three integral roles under Nixon: secretary of the treasury, director of the office of management and budget (the first ever) and secretary of labor.
Before his work with Nixon and Reagan, Shultz also worked on Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers in 1955, as a senior staff economist.
Shultz served at the Hoover Institution for more than 30 years before his death and, according to Stanford, kept working at the school — which he joined in 1968 — "nearly every day until his passing."
In more recent years, Shultz also served on the board of directors for Elizabeth Holmes' disgraced healthcare company Theranos and his grandson was a key whistleblower against the company, notably detailed in the documentary The Inventor and other reports.
(Holmes, who will go on trial later this year, has pleaded not guilty to the accusations against her.)
In a statement after Holmes' downfall, Shultz praised his grandson, Tyler, saying, "He did not shrink from what he saw as his responsibility to the truth and patient safety, even when he felt personally threatened and believed that I had placed allegiance to the company over allegiance to higher values and our family. … Tyler navigated a very complex situation in ways that made me proud"
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His fellow former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who now serves as director of the Hoover Institution), tweeted on Sunday that he "was a great American statesman and true patriot in every sense of the word. Now, we must carry on the work that he challenged us to do — to love freedom and opportunity and to never lose a thirst for learning. May he rest in peace."
Rice also said in a statement shared by Stanford, "He will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place."
Both President Joe Biden and former President George W. Bush issued statements upon the news of Shultz's death, with the latter saying, "America has lost one of its finest statesmen with the passing of George Shultz."
"He was a person of deep intellect, talent and patriotism," added Bush, 74. "He took on a wide range of important jobs and did them all well. George Shultz was a great public servant, and America is better because of that service. Laura [Bush] and I send our sympathies to Charlotte, his five children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
"For a man so inked into the pages of our history, his mind was always keyed toward the future," Biden continued. "He focused on the possibilities of what could be, unhindered by the impasses or deadlocks of the past. That was the vision and dedication that helped guide our nation through some of its most dangerous periods and ultimately helped create the opening that led to the end the Cold War. And while he and I sometimes argued the opposite sides of issues when I was a young senator, I was proud to often find common ground on issues vital to the security and prosperity of the American people."
The newly inaugurated 47th president went on to credit Shultz as being "the driving force behind the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty," saying he drove home "the critical concept that we should work to negotiate with our adversaries where possible in order to make life better and safer for our people."
"He was a man of incredible courage," Biden said. "Whether it was donning the uniform of the United States Marines to defend the cause of liberty in World War II or speaking out directly to the President of the United States when he disagreed with a policy, George Shultz knew when to stand and fight."
He concluded, "[First Lady Jill Biden] and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Shultz family — his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Our nation mourns his loss along with you even as we honor his lifetime of patriotic service."
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