After majoring in economics at Princeton University, Shultz joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II and served mostly in the Pacific arena. He would later raise to the rank of captain. After the war in 1945 he returned to his education and enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later was appointed senior staff economist to President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers. In 1962, he became Dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. In 1968 Richard Nixon appointed Shultz to serve as United States Secretary of Labor. After 18 months on the job, he accepted the position of the first director of the Office of Management and Budget. He faced problems of wage control and price freezes, as well as major private industry strikes. In 1972 Shultz again changed positions and became Secretary of Treasury. He became caught up in foreign policy, negotiating a multi-national currency system with other countries and trade agreements with the Soviet Union. In 1974 he resigned from government politics and worked in the private sector as executive vice president of the Bechtel Corporation, which was an international construction and engineering firm based in San Francisco.
On July 16, 1982 Shultz was sworn in as the 60th Secretary of State of the United States in the Reagan administration. He worked to resolve conflicts in the Middle East and route out international terrorism. In terms of dealing with the Cold War, he supported Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. After Reagan's presidency, Shultz became a professor at Stanford University's Hoover Institute and Graduate School of Business.
- Shultz, George. 'Turmoil and Triumph My Years as Secretary of State (1993), well written memoir
- Shultz, George, and Kenneth W. Dam. Economic Policy Beyond the Headlines (1998) excerpt and text search