Former Senator Sam Nunn on the Life and Legacy of George Shultz

Colleen and I are greatly saddened by the passing of George Shultz, one of our nation’s most valued public servants, an outstanding statesman and a dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife, Charlotte, and the entire Shultz family. Charlotte’s creativity, energy, and love of life brought George much joy and inspiration.

George accomplished more in 100 years than most of us could do if given 400 years. His important work to bring about a more peaceful and stable world continued until the end of his life and will leave a lasting legacy for years to come.

He had a profound impact on reducing nuclear dangers and prepared the groundwork for the end of the Cold War:

  • He inspired and supported President Reagan and President Gorbachev in declaring jointly the principle that helped end the Cold War: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
  • He worked with President Reagan and President Gorbachev to eliminate a whole class of destabilizing land-based medium-range nuclear weapons from the European theatre.
  • When he was Secretary of State, he worked closely with the Senate Arms Control Observer Group, recognizing that Senate ratification of important treaties required the opportunity for advice, consultation and dialogue, as well as consent.
  • He led the way on a series of Wall Street Journal op-eds co-authored by George, Henry Kissinger, Bill Perry and myself which led off with this sentence: “ U.S. leadership will be required to take the world to the next stage – to a solid consensus for reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.”

George’s friend Bishop William Swing wrote, “At the end of time, the author of life will return to this created and loved Earth and demand accountability for what we did to enhance or destroy it.” Every day, George Shultz worked to enhance God’s creation and preserve human life on our planet.


Read the statement from NTI Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J. Moniz.

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