We’ve seen no notice of it anywhere else on the internet, so NEMiss.News observes that today, Sunday, December 13, is George P. Schultz’s 100th birthday.
Happy Birthday, Secretary Schultz!
We have long believed that Schultz, like another George, the late General George Catlett Marshall, is among the most underappreciated of all great Americans.
Schultz is one of only two Americans to have every served in four different cabinet level offices.
George Schultz was born in New York City on December 13, 1920, and raised in New Jersey.
He graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1942 and immediately volunteered for service in the U.S. Marine Corp. He served as an artillery officer and mustered out of the Corps as a captain when World War II ended in 1945.
George Schultz then earned both his master’s and PhD degrees in economics from Princeton University. [Unlike a lesser American, PhD Henry Kissinger, Schultz never insisted upon being addressed as “Dr. Schultz.” He was and is just plain George Schultz.]
Schultz served as Labor Secretary, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Nixon.
He left government service, and was president of Bechtel Group, an international engineering and services company. Bechtel enjoyed a 50 percent increase in earnings under Schultz’s leadership.
When Al Haig was forced to resign after 18 bizarre months as Secretary of State in July, 1982, President Reagan named Schultz as Secretary of State.
Schultz served as Secretary of State for the remainder of Reagan’s presidency. Although he had been very competent in his previous cabinet roles, it was as Reagan’s Secretary of State that George Schultz established his unquestioned greatness as a leader.
While others of Reagan’s administration and many other Republicans and Democrats, including Nixon and Kissinger, opposed Reagan’s strategy in dealing with the Soviet Union, Schultz was Reagan’s most steadfast ally.
Unlike Nixon and Kissinger and the CIA and most of the rest of the American foreign policy establishment, Schultz recognized, as Reagan did, that the Soviet Union was a hollow shell, a fatally flawed system that could not possibly succeed long term.
Reagan, with Schultz’s unwavering support, engaged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in a kind of high stakes poker game. Reagan and Schultz kept raising the ante. The Russians ran out of chips and had to fold.
The Soviet Union and the Communist bloc that had dominated Eastern Europe for nearly fifty years came tumbling down.
Following his service in the Reagan Administration, Schultz returned to Bechtel and to teaching at Stanford University. He continues serving on a number of boards and still makes occasional public speeches, including a talk at the Hoover Institution five months ago.
Happy Birthday, Secretary Schultz.
All the good do not die young.
-Jerry W. ShiverdeckerGeorge Schultz, Northeast MS news, Pesident Ronald Reagan