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Former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill passes away at 84

Current Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took to Twitter and expressed his grief, saying “O’Neill had served America with distinction during challenging times.”

SNS | New Delhi |

Former US treasury secretary Paul O’Neill, who served under George W. Bush passed away on Saturday at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer, according to his alma mater Indiana University.

O’Neill’s son, Paul O’Neill Jr. confirmed that his father died at his home in Pittsburgh after battling lung cancer for the last couple of years.

After a few surgeries and chemotherapy, he decided against any further intervention four or five months ago, he added.

“There was some family here and he died peacefully,” the son said.

“Based on his situation, it was a good exit”, he further added to his statement.

He late became the subject and key source for Ron Suskind’s book “The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill,” which offered a damning look at the Bush administration.

Taking to Twitter, Suskind said, “Through my book he spoke truth to the world about no WMD in Iraq, Cheney’s seizure of power and Bush’s fecklessness”.

“He was a believer in truth — that’s what got him fired — and a true American hero. Farewell old friend.”

Current Treasury Secret Steven Mnuchin took to Twitter and expressed his grief, saying “O’Neill had served America with distinction during challenging times.”

O’Neill, who was born in St Louis, was an old political hand, having serving in high-ranking posts in the US government budget office under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

A former head of aluminum giant Alcoa, O’Neill served as Treasury secretary from 2001 to late 2002. He was forced to resign after he objected to a second round of tax cuts because of their impact on deficits.

In 2019, he donated $30 million to his alma mater, which renamed its school of public affairs in his honor.

O’Neill is survived by his wife, four children, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.