My watch list  

George P. Shultz

George Pratt Shultz

60th United States Secretary of State
In office
July 16 1982 – January 20 1989
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Alexander Haig
Succeeded by James Baker

62nd United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
May 1972 – May 1974
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by John Connally
Succeeded by William E. Simon

Born December 13 1920 (1920-12-13) (age 92)
New York City, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse Helena Maria O'Brien
Charlotte Mailliard Shultz
Profession Economist, Politician
Religion Episcopalian

George Pratt Shultz (born December 13, 1920) served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970, as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1974, and as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989.



George Shultz was born in New York City. In 1938, Shultz graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, after which he received an A.B. degree in economics from Princeton University in 1942. That same year he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served until 1945, attaining the rank of Captain. In 1949, Shultz earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His degree was in industrial economics.

While serving with the Navy in Hawaii, he met his future wife, nurse lieutenant Helena Maria "Obie" O'Brien (1915-1995). They had five children. In 1997, after the death of Helena, he married Charlotte Mailliard Swig, a prominent San Francisco socialite. Their marriage was called the "Bay Area Wedding of the Year" and they remain a power couple in San Francisco.

He taught in both the MIT Department of Economics and the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1948 to 1957, with a leave of absence in 1955 to serve on President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers as a senior staff economist.

In 1957, Shultz joined the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business as professor of industrial relations. Later, he was named dean in 1962.   Shultz served as President Richard Nixon's secretary of labor from 1969 to 1970, after which he was director of the Office of Management and Budget. He then became Secretary of the Treasury from May 1972 to May 1974. It was during this period that Shultz, along with Paul Volcker and Arthur Burns, supported the decision of the Nixon administration to end the gold standard and the Bretton Woods system.[1]

Secretary of State


In 1974, he left government service to become president and director of Bechtel Group. On July 16, 1982, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as the sixtieth U.S. secretary of state. Considered by some to be a dove on foreign policy within the Reagan administration, he frequently clashed with the more hawkish members of the administration. In particular, he was well known for outspoken opposition to the "arms for hostages" scandal that would eventually become the Iran Contra situation. On the other hand, Shultz was a leading proponent of a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people. In a 1983 testimony before Congress he said that the Sandinista government in Nicaragua was "a cancer in our own land mass", that must be "cut out". He was also opposed to any negotiation with the government of Daniel Ortega, "Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table." -- i.e. negotiations aren't as effective as threatening displays of power. During the First Intifada (see Arab-Israeli conflict), Shultz "proposed ... an international convention in April 1988 ... on an interim autonomy agreement for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to be implemented as of October for a three-year period" (Oded, 135). However, this never materialized.

Comedians best know Shultz for State Department Spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley's response to a question about the Princeton tiger tattooed on Shultz's posterior: I'm not in a position to know. Spy Magazine featured Shultz and the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz in "Separated at Birth."

Later life

  George Shultz left office on January 20, 1989 but continues to be a strategist for the Republican Party. He was an advisor for the George W. Bush 2000 Campaign, and senior member of the so-called "Vulcans," a group of policy mentors for Bush which also included among its members Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice. One of his most senior advisors and confidants is former ambassador Charles Hill, who holds dual positions at the Hoover Institution and Yale University. Shultz has been called the father of the Bush Doctrine, because of his advocacy of preventive war. [2] He generally defends the neoconservatism of the Bush administration. [3]

After leaving public office in 1989, Shultz surprised many of his fellow conservatives by becoming the first prominent Republican to call for the legalization of recreational drugs. He went on to add his signature to an advertisement, published in the New York Times on June 8, 1998, entitled "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself."

In August of 2003, Shultz was named co-chair (along with Warren Buffett) of California's Economic Recovery Council, an advisory group to the campaign of California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the White House of former Secretaries of Defense and State to discuss United States foreign policy with Bush administration officials.

Shultz is the chairman of the JP Morgan Chase bank's International Advisory Council and an honorary director of the Institute for International Economics. He is a member of the Hoover Institution at Stanford, American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) Board of Advisors, the New Atlantic Initiative, the prestigious Mandalay Camp at the Bohemian Grove, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and the Committee on the Present Danger. He is honorary chairman of The Israel Democracy Institute ( He also serves on the board of directors for the Bechtel Corporation, Accretive Health, and Charles Schwab Corporation. Shultz was a member of the board of directors of Gilead Sciences from January 1996 to December 2005. He is currently a co-chairman of the North American Forum.

Honors and prizes

  • Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (January 19, 1989).
  • Received the Seoul Peace Prize (1992).
  • Received the United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award (1992).
  • Received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service (2000).
  • Received the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership (2001).
  • Received the Lead21 Lifetime Achievement Award (2005).
  • Received the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award (April 25, 2007).
  • Received the Truman Medal for Economic Policy October 1, 2007.

Further reading

  • Oded, Eran. "Arab-Israel Peacemaking." The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002.
  • Reference(1):Biography
  • Shultz, George Pratt. "Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State" New York : Scribner's 1993.
Preceded by
W. Willard Wirtz
United States Secretary of Labor
Succeeded by
James D. Hodgson
Preceded by
Robert Mayo
Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget
Succeeded by
Caspar Weinberger
Preceded by
John B. Connally
United States Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded by
William E. Simon
Preceded by
Alexander Haig
United States Secretary of State
Succeeded by
James Baker
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "George_P._Shultz". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE