A lifelong Republican known best for his work as secretary of state under former President Ronald Reagan has died, and those on both sides of the political aisle are mourning the tragic loss.
According to the Associated Press, George Shultz died Saturday at his home on the campus of Stanford University in California. He was 100.
His cause of death remains unclear.
“A key player”
A veteran of World War II who served in the Marine Corps, Shultz rose to political prominence for his service under both Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, the Washington Examiner reported. For the latter, Shultz acted as secretary of state, where he was a vocal advocate of talks between the U.S. and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
In a press release announcing his death, Stanford’s Hoover Institution said Shultz also “negotiated a series of trade protocols with the Soviet Union,” including what the AP described as “the first-ever treaty to reduce the size of the Soviet Union’s ground-based nuclear arsenals.”
The AP said Shultz “never abandoned” his goal of quashing the nuclear arms race.
“Remembered as one of the most influential secretaries of state in our history, Shultz was a key player, alongside President Ronald Reagan, in changing the direction of history by using the tools of diplomacy to bring the Cold War to an end,” the Hoover Institution said.
“A great American statesman”
Even President Joe Biden didn’t have anything bad to say about the Republican icon. “He was a gentleman of honor and ideas, dedicated to public service and respectful debate, even into his 100th year on Earth,” Biden said, according to the AP.
“That’s why multiple presidents, of both political parties, sought his counsel,” he added of Shultz. “I regret that, as president, I will not be able to benefit from his wisdom, as have so many of my predecessors.”
Republican Condoleeza Rice, a former secretary of state who currently runs the Hoover Institution, also had kind words for one of her most noted predecessors.
“Our colleague was a great American statesman and a true patriot in every sense of the word,” she said, according to the Washington Examiner. “He will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place.”
According to the Hoover Institution, Shultz “is survived by his wife, Charlotte Mailliard Shultz; his five children, Margaret Ann Tilsworth, Kathlee Pratt Shultz Jorgensen, Peter Milton Shultz, Barbara Lennox Shultz White, and Alexander George Shultz;  grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.”