Longtime Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz dies at 100

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FILE - In this Jan. 9, 1985 file photo, Secretary of State George Shultz, center, walks with President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush upon his arrival at the White House in Washington, after two days of arms talks with the Soviet Union in Geneva. Shultz, former President Reagan's longtime secretary of state, who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, died Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. He was 100. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File)

WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State George P. 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, has died. He was 100.

Shultz died 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.

The Hoover Institution announced Shultz’s death on Sunday. A cause of death was not provided.

A lifelong Republican, Shultz held three major Cabinet positions in GOP administrations during a lengthy career of public service.

He was labor secretary, treasury secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Richard M. Nixon before spending more than six years as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state.

“He was a gentleman of honor and ideas, dedicated to public service and respectful debate, even into his 100th year on Earth,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “That’s why multiple presidents, of both political parties, sought his counsel. I regret that, as president, I will not be able to benefit from his wisdom, as have so many of my predecessors.”

Shultz was the second-longest serving secretary of state since World War I I 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, said in a statement that Shultz “will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place.”