Connect with us

General

George P. Shultz, Influential Cabinet Official Under Nixon and Reagan, Dies at 100


Starting in 1957, Mr. Shultz taught at the University of Chicago, where he was dean of its business school from 1962 to 1968. That year he took a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a wooded retreat for academics in Stanford. He returned to Stanford after leaving public office and receiving in 1989 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Over the next three decades he wrote for academic journals and op-ed pages.

His most recent book, published in the fall, was “A Hinge of History,” written with James Timbie, a longtime State Department adviser. In the book, Mr. Shultz argued that the world is at a pivot point in history, much like the one it reached at the end of World War II, requiring international cooperation in grappling with an era that will bring fundamental changes in education, migration, national security, technology, economics and democratization.

Mr. Shultz was a Marine when he met his future wife of nearly 50 years, Helena M. O’Brien, known as Obie. He was on a rest-and-recreation trip to Kauai, Hawaii, where she was an Army nurse. She died in 1995.

In 1997, he married Charlotte Smith Mailliard Swig, San Francisco’s chief of protocol.The high-society ceremony was held in the city’s Grace Cathedral. He wore black tie with red, white and blue studs of rubies, diamonds and sapphire, and sported a tiger orchid boutonniere.

His survivors include his wife; three daughters from his first marriage, Margaret Ann Shylt Tilsworth, Kathleen Pratt Shultz Jorgensen and Barbara Lennox Shultz White; two sons from his first marriage, Peter and Alexander; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

The only scandal that touched Mr. Shultz’s personal life began to erupt in 2015. For four years, he had been a member of the board of directors of Theranos, a Silicon Valley start-up founded by Elizabeth Holmes, a young college dropout who claimed to have invented a revolutionary new blood-testing system. His enthusiastic support drew power brokers to the board, including Mr. Kissinger and James Mattis, the retired Marine general who would become President Trump’s defense secretary.

Theranos was valued at $9 billion before whistle-blowers inside the company began talking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, saying the technology did not work as promised. The insiders included Mr. Shultz’s grandson, Tyler Shultz, and the elder statesman pressured him to stay silent. It was not until Theranos collapsed in 2018 and its founders faced indictment on fraud charges that Mr. Shultz finally acknowledged the “troubling practices” at Theranos, saying in a public statement that his grandson had “felt personally threatened” by their confrontation “and believed that I had placed allegiance to the company over allegiance to higher values and our family.”

Copyright © 2020 AMSNBC News