George P. Shultz, Influential Cupboard Official Below Nixon and Reagan, Dies at 100

During his reign in Washington, Mr. Shultz tried to keep a secret out of print: that he had a tiger tattoo on his rump, an inheritance from his student days at Princeton University. When asked about the tattoo, Phyllis Oakley, a State Department spokeswoman, replied, “I am unable to comment.”

George Pratt Shultz was born on December 13, 1920 in Manhattan, the only child of former Margaret Lennox Pratt and Birl E. Shultz, an official of the New York Stock Exchange. He grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, and came to Princeton in the fall of 1938.

He was in his final year in economics in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th. After graduating, he joined the Marines and witnessed combat in the Pacific. He joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after receiving a PhD in industrial relations there in 1949. His specialty was labor economics.

In 1955, he took a year off to serve as an officer in the Council of Economic Advisers to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, chaired by Arthur F. Burns, who later headed the Federal Reserve Board.

From 1957 Mr. Shultz taught at the University of Chicago, where he was Dean of the Business School from 1962 to 1968. That year he received a scholarship to the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, a wooded retreat for academics at Chicago Stanford. He returned to Stanford after leaving public office and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1989, the highest civilian honor in the country. For the next three decades he wrote for journals and Op-Ed sites. His most recent book, published in 2019, was “Thinking About the Future,” a collection of his thoughts on the world’s most pressing problems.

Mr Shultz was a Marine when he met his nearly 50-year-old future wife, Helena M. O’Brien, known as Obie. He was on a vacation and recreation trip to Kauai, Hawaii, where she was a nurse. She died in 1995.

In 1997 he married Charlotte Smith Mailliard Swig, San Francisco’s chief of protocol. The high society ceremony took place at the city’s Grace Cathedral. He wore a black tie with red, white, and blue studs made of rubies, diamonds, and sapphire, and a tiger orchid boutonniere.

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