George P. Shultz

Awards and Honors:
Economic Club of New York Award for Leadership Excellence
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Philosophical Society

George Pratt Shultz passed away on February 6, 2021. 

Shultz was the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He had a distinguished career in government, in academia, and in the world of business. Shultz was one of two individuals who have held four different federal cabinet posts; he  taught at three of this country’s great universities; and for eight years he was president of a major engineering and construction company.

Shultz was born in New York City on December 13, 1920, and grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. He attended Princeton University, graduating in 1942 with a BA in economics. Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served through 1945. He then resumed his studies, this time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a PhD in industrial economics in 1949. From 1948 to 1957 he taught at MIT, taking a leave of absence in 1955 to serve as a senior staff economist on President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers.

In 1957, Shultz joined the faculty of the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business as a professor of industrial relations. He was named dean five years later. From 1968 to 1969 he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He returned to government when he was appointed secretary of labor by President Nixon in 1969. In June 1970, he became the first director of the newly formed Office of Management and Budget. In May 1972, he was named secretary of the Treasury, a post he held for two years. During this period, Shultz also served as chairman of the Council on Economic Policy, negotiated a series of trade protocols with the Soviet Union, and represented the United States at the Tokyo meeting on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Shultz left government service in 1974 to become president and director of the Bechtel Group, where he remained until 1982. While at Bechtel, he maintained close ties with the academic world by joining the faculty of Stanford University.

Shultz held two key positions in the Reagan administration: chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981–82) and secretary of state (1982–89). As secretary of state, he played a key role in implementing a foreign policy that led to the successful conclusion of the Cold War and the development of strong relationships between the United States and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region including China, Japan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

After leaving office, Shultz rejoined the Bechtel Group as director and senior counselor. He also rejoined Stanford as professor of international economics at the Graduate School of Business and as a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution. In 2001, Shultz was named the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

In January 1989, Shultz was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is also a recipient of the Seoul Peace Prize (1992), the West Point Sylvanus Thayer Award (1992), the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service (2001), the Reagan Distinguished American Award (2002), and the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training’s Ralph Bunche Award for Diplomatic Excellence (2002). Other honors awarded in 2002 include the Elliot Richardson Prize for Excellence and Integrity in Public Service, the James H. Doolittle Award, and the John Witherspoon Medal for Distinguished Statesmanship. The George Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, was dedicated in a ceremony on May 29, 2002. Shultz was named a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association in 2005 and received the American Spirit Award from the National World War II Museum in 2006. In 2007, he received the George Marshall Award from the United States Agency for International Development and the Truman Medal for Economic Policy. He received the Rumford Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and the Commandant’s Leadership Award from the Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation in 2009. In 2011, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Distinguished Citizen Award and the first Economic Club of New York Award for Leadership Excellence. In 2012, he was presented with a Democracy Service Medal by the National Endowment for Democracy and received the Henry A. Kissinger Prize at the American Academy in Berlin. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation dedicated the Global Issues and Reagan-Gorbachev Summits Galleries in his honor in June 2012.

Shultz’s publications include Thinking about the Future (Hoover Institution Press, June 2019); Learning from Experience (Hoover Institution Press, October 2016); Issues on My Mind: Strategies for the Future (Hoover Institution Press, 2013); The Nuclear Enterprise: High-Consequence Accidents: How to Enhance Safety and Minimize Risks in Nuclear Weapons and Reactors (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), coedited with Sidney Drell; Ideas & Action: Featuring 10 Commandments for Negotiations (2010); Ending Government Bailouts as We Know Them (Hoover Institution Press 2010), coedited with Kenneth E. Scott and John Taylor; Putting Our House in Order: A Citizen’s Guide to Social Security and Health Care Reform, with John B. Shoven (2008); Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (1993); Economic Policy beyond the Headlines, with Kenneth Dam (1977); Workers and Wages in the Urban Labor Market, with Albert Rees (1970); Guidelines, Informal Controls, and the Marketplace, with Robert Aliber (1966); Strategies for the Displaced Worker: Confronting Economic Change, with Arnold Weber (1966); Management Organization and the Computer, with Thomas Whisler (eds.) (1960); Labor Problems: Cases and Readings, with John Coleman (1959); The Dynamics of a Labor Market, with Charles Myers (1951); Pressures on Wage Decisions (1951); "Case Study No. 10," with Robert P. Crisara, in Causes of Industrial Peace under Collective Bargaining (1951); and "Case Study No. 7," with Charles A. Myers, in Causes of Industrial Peace under Collective Bargaining (1950).

Shultz holds honorary degrees from Notre Dame, Columbia, Loyola, University of Pennsylvania, Rochester, Princeton, Carnegie-Mellon, City University of New York, Yeshiva University, Weizmann Institute of Science, Baruch College of New York, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia, Technion, Keio University in Tokyo, Williams College, and Peking University.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Happy 100th Birthday, George Shultz!

by Bill Whalen featuring George P. Shultzvia Forbes
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Four years ago, in this same space and at a time when many Americans were on the horns of a dilemma that was the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I offered an alternative: former Secretary of State George Shultz.


Trust is the Coin of the Realm

by George P. Shultzvia Hoover Institution Press
Friday, December 11, 2020

When George Shultz first joined President Nixon's administration, Washington hand Bryce Harlow offered him a piece of advice that Secretary Shultz has carried with him to this day: “Trust is the coin of the realm.” Now, on his 100th birthday, Shultz reflects on that lesson across a century of experiences in this personal note to friends and colleagues. "When trust was in the room, whatever room that was—the family room, the schoolroom, the coach’s room, the office room, the government room, or the military room—good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details."


The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learned About Trust Over My 100 Years

by George P. Shultzvia The Washington Post
Friday, December 11, 2020

Dec. 13 marks my turning 100 years young. I’ve learned much over that time, but looking back, I’m struck that there is one lesson I learned early and then relearned over and over: Trust is the coin of the realm.

Analysis and Commentary

Tending The Domestic Garden

by Chase Beamer quoting George P. Shultzvia Real Clear World
Monday, December 7, 2020

Former Secretary of State George C. Shultz spoke of “tending the diplomatic garden,” an apt metaphor for the ceaseless effort to cultivate the relationships abroad necessary to advance American interests. Diplomacy, like many professions, relies on the trust established by getting to know people, with their culture and all their ambitions. In order to succeed now, at home and abroad, we need to tend our domestic garden. 


Stanford Public Sector Energy Internships Renamed To Honor George Shultz

featuring George P. Shultzvia Stanford News
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Stanford public sector internship program has been renamed in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State GEORGE SHULTZ, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

In the News

George Shultz, James Timbie, Adele Hayutin: The Emerging New World

mentioning George P. Shultzvia Commonwealth Club
Friday, November 13, 2020

Join us for a rare conversation with renowned statesman George Shultz, former long-time State Department official James Timbie and economist Adele Hayutin about opportunities facing the United States and the world at this unique point in history.

George Pratt Shultz
In the News

George Shultz Speaks Out For Renewing US Leadership Overseas

featuring George P. Shultzvia The New York Times
Saturday, October 31, 2020

n the final years of the Cold War, Secretary of State George P. Shultz negotiated the first arms-control treaty in history to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons, a crowning achievement of President Ronald Reagan’s tenure and the start of a new era of nuclear de-escalation.


The Extension Of A Nuclear Treaty Between The U.S. And Russia Would Be A Crucial, Responsible Step

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Sam Nunnvia The Washington Post
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Albert Einstein is said to have thought that God does not play dice with the universe. Two nations, Russia and the United States, now possess about 90 percent of the world’s inventory of nuclear warheads and have the godlike power to destroy most of humanity and all it has built.

A Free and Healthy Market

by George P. Shultz, Vidar Jorgensenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 19, 2020

Singapore’s health care system thrives on transparency and competition. Why can’t ours?

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Pacific Century: An American Statesman Discusses China

interview with Michael R. Auslin, George P. Shultz, John Yoovia The Pacific Century
Friday, October 16, 2020

George Shultz on how to understand China’s future.


Remembering George P. Shultz

George Pratt Shultz

In remembrance and honor of George P. Shultz, the family suggests that charitable donations may be made to the George P. Shultz Program Fund at the Hoover Institution. The fund will make it possible to carry on his craft of turning ideas into action in the areas of national security, energy and climate, economics, education, and equality of opportunity.

Contributions may be sent to:

Hoover Institution
George P. Shultz Program Fund
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

Donations may also be made online here.

Please contact sjmyers [at] (subject: Shultz%20Remembrance%20Fund) (Sara Myers) with any questions.

Celebrating Shultz @100

As we celebrate George P. Shultz, this portal celebrates the first 100 years of his singular legacy and lasting impact. Find 100 facts from 100 years, galleries celebrating his storied legacy and links to articles and essays celebrating his impact.

The Governance Project