WASHINGTON (Reuters) – George Shultz, the U.S. secretary of state who survived bitter infighting in President Ronald Reagan’s administration to help forge a new era in American-Soviet relations and bring on the end of the Cold War, died on Saturday at age 100, the California-based Hoover Institute said.
A man of broad experience and talents, Shultz achieved success in statesmanship, business and academia. Lawmakers praised him for opposing as sheer folly the sale of arms to Iran that were the cornerstone of the Iran-Contra scandal that marred Reagan’s second term in office.
His efforts as America’s top diplomat from 1982 to 1989 under the Republican Reagan helped lead to the conclusion of the four-decade-long Cold War that began after World War Two, pitting the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and the communist bloc and generating fears of a global nuclear conflict.
Shultz, a steady, patient and low-key man who became one of the longest-serving secretaries of state, steered to completion a historic treaty scrapping superpower medium-range nuclear missiles and set a pattern for dealings between Moscow and Washington that made human rights a routine agenda item.
His record as secretary of state was tempered by his failure to bring peace to the Middle East and Central America, areas in which he personally invested considerable effort.
Shultz remained active into his 90s through a position at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution think tank and various boards. He also wrote books and took stands against the Cuban embargo, climate change and Britain’s departure from the European Union.
(Reporting by Will Dunham in Washington; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Bill Trott and Howard Goller)
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