The long-reigning chief of San Francisco protocol and unofficial aide to ten City mayors, Charlotte Mailliard Shultz passed away Friday at 88 years old due to complications from cancer.
A serial philanthropist and SF's Chief of Protocol for more than five decades, Shultz was beloved by local and national political figures, alike.
I am deeply saddened to hear the news of my good friend Charlotte Shultz. Her legacy will always live with us. pic.twitter.com/2oJM3pbsOQ— London Breed (@LondonBreed) December 3, 2021
“She had a remarkable talent for organizing events and representing our city with dignity and class, including hosting foreign heads of state,” said U.S. Senator and Former San Francisco MayorDianne Feinstein in a statement published by the Associated Press. “Charlotte really put San Francisco on the map as an international city.”
Governor Gavin Newsom was also quick to offer consoling words that celebrated Shultz's life and impact on the city — “[Shultz was an] exceptional civic leader, dedicated public servant, and treasured friend.”
Shultz, who was actually born and raised in a small Texas town, played a pivotal role in organizing public events, like parades for the 49ers and San Francisco Giants. Shultz also orchestrated the city’s celebrations welcoming kings, queens, and international dignitaries that included Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, and then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
She, too, sat on the boards of various culture centers — the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, and the San Francisco Ballet — during her fifty-one-year involvement with San Francisco, which is believed to be the longest-running of its kind in SF's history. And it was a run that highlighted Shultz's "unparalleled grace and generosity."
“Charlotte Shultz was a woman of unparalleled grace and generosity who loved San Francisco like no other,” Mayor Breed said in a statement. “In her decades of work as Chief of Protocol she did more than connect our City with the Consular Corps and the countries they represent — she showed the rest of the world what an incredible place San Francisco is and can be.”
Breed continued: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of such an incredible woman and friend, and my heart goes out to her family and friends. We have lost our Grande Dame. The bright lights of San Francisco are forever diminished with the loss of Charlotte, but her impact, legacy, and love will live with us for generations.”
Shultz was married three times. In February, she lost her third husband, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, who died at the age of 100.
Photo: American married couple, socialite and philanthropist Charlotte Mailliard Shultz and former United States Secretary of State George P Shultz arrive at the White House for a State Dinner (in honor of Chinese President Jiang Zemin), Washington DC, October 29, 1997. (Photo by Ron Sachs/CNP/Getty Images)