George Shultz, Ronald Reagan’s genial secretary of state who identified a diplomatic opening that helped end the Cold War but contributed to a new brand of conflict by advocating preemptive strikes, has died. He was 100.
“One of the most consequential policymakers of all time, having served three American presidents, George P. Shultz died Feb. 6 at age 100,” the Hoover Institution think tank said in a statement published on its website.
Shultz held three major Cabinet posts in Republican administrations during a long career of public service. He was labor secretary and treasury secretary under President Richard Nixon before spending more than six years as Reagan’s secretary of state. He had been the oldest surviving former Cabinet member of any administration.
As the nation’s chief diplomat, Shultz negotiated the first-ever treaty to reduce the size of the Soviet Union’s ground-based nuclear arsenals. The 1987 accord was a historic attempt to begin to reverse the nuclear arms race.