Remarks from the memorial of Charles Schultze

On Friday, November 4, Brookings welcomed friends, colleagues, and members of our community to a memorial service held for beloved Brookings scholar Charles “Charlie” L. Schultze, who passed away at his home in Washington on September 27, 2016 at the age of 91.

Charlie was a member of the Brookings family for 45 years—almost half our history as an institution. He began his tenure here as a Senior Fellow in 1968; served as Director of the Economic Studies Program from 1987 to 1990; and had been a Senior Fellow Emeritus since 1996. He is deeply missed.

Charlie touched the lives of so many friends and colleagues during his illustrious career, which included time as Assistant Director of the Bureau of the Budget under President Kennedy, Director of the Bureau of the Budget under President Johnson until 1968, and Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in 1976 for President Carter.

We invite you to read more about his numerous contributions and accomplishments, and to watch video of the remarks shared at his memorial service by Brookings President Strobe Talbott, Vice President and Director of Economic Studies Ted Gayer, former Economic Studies Director Robert Litan, and Brookings scholars Henry Aaron and Alice Rivlin. If you’d like to read the remarks as prepared, you can download them here.

Charlie was also a family man, and his family came out in strength to remember him, with 65 members in attendance at his memorial. From young to old, they joined his Brookings family in celebrating his life.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott opened the ceremony with the following remarks:

Thank you all for joining us in this memorial service for our friend and colleague, Charlie Schultze. We’re honored to have his family with us.


Since his passing, there has been, appropriately, an outpouring of fondness and admiration for Charlie, including letters to his family. I will read two sentences from one of those letters:


“Whether in uniform, during his time in the White House, or over the course of his decades enriching & expanding our understanding of vital economic issues, it’s clear Charlie was driven by a profound belief in service and in the notion that each of us has a role in the work of carrying our nation forward.” 


“His spirit will endure through you & in all those who are moved by the man he was & the example he set.”


– signed, Barack Obama

Charlie was married to Rita Hertzog for 67 years before her death in 2014. He is survived by his six children, 16 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Download remarks as prepared here »