Gene Schultz, R. I. P.


Sunday, October 2nd, Earl Eugene Schultz, Jr. passed away. Gene probably had suffered an unrecognized stroke about two weeks earlier, and a week later fell down a long escalator at the Minneapolis municipal airport. He was given immediate emergency aid, then hospitalized, but never regained consciousness. Many of his family members were with him during his final days.

What follows is a more formal obituary, based on material provided by his family and others. That is followed by some personal reflections.

Personal Details

Gene was born September 10, 1946, in Chicago to E. Eugene Sr. and Elizabeth Schultz. They moved to California in 1948, and Gene’s sister, Nancy, was born in 1955. The family lived in Lafayette, California. Gene graduated from UCLA, and earned his MS and PhD (in Cognitive Science, 1977) at Purdue University in Indiana.


While at Purdue University, Gene met and married Cathy Brown. They were married for 36 years, and raised three daughters: Sarah, Rachel and Leah.

Gene was an active member of Cornerstone Fellowship, and belonged to a men’s Bible study. His many interests included family, going to his mountain home in Twain Harte, model trains, music, travelling, the outdoors, history, reading and sports.

Gene is survived by his wife of 36 years, Cathy Brown Schultz; father, Gene Schultz, Sr.; sister, Nancy Baker; daughters and their spouses, Sarah and Tim Vanier, Rachel and Duc Nguyen, Leah and Nathan Martin; and two grandchildren, Nola and Drake Nguyen.

A memorial service will be held at Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore, California on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 1 pm. Donations may be sent to Caring under his name, Gene Schultz.

You should also take a few moments to visit this page and learn about the symptoms and response to stroke.

Professional Life

Gene was one of the more notable and accomplished figures in computing security over the last few decades. During the course of his career, Gene was professor of computer science at several universities, including the University of California at Davis and Purdue University, and retired from the University of California at Berkeley. He consulted for a wide range of clients, including U.S. and foreign governments and the banking, petroleum, and pharmaceutical industries. He also managed several information security practices and served as chief technology officer for two companies.

Gene formed and managed the Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC) — an incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy — from 1986–1992. This was the first formal incident response team, predating the CERT/CC by several years. He also was instrumental in the founding of FIRST — the Forum of Incident Response & Security Teams.

During his 30 years of work in security, Gene authored or co-authored over 120 papers, and five books. He was manager of the I4 program at SRI from 1994–1998. From 2002–2007, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Computers and Security — the oldest journal in computing security — and continued to serve on its editorial board. Gene was also an associate editor of Network Security. He was a member of the accreditation board of the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP).

Gene testified as an expert several times before both Senate and House Congressional committees. He also served as an expert advisor to a number of companies and agencies. Gene was a certified SANS instructor, instructor for ISACA, senior SANS analyst, member of the SANS NewsBites editorial board, and co-author of the 2005 and 2006 Certified Information Security Manager preparation materials.

Dr. Schultz was honored numerous times for his research, service, and teaching. Among his many notable awards, Gene received the NASA Technical Excellence Award, Department of Energy Excellence Award, the Vanguard Conference Top Gun Award (for best presenter) twice, the Vanguard Chairman's Award, the ISACA John Kuyers Best Speaker/Best Conference Contributor Award and the National Information Systems Security Conference Best Paper Award. One of only a few Distinguished Fellows of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), he was also named to the ISSA Hall of Fame and received ISSA's Professional Achievement and Honor Roll Awards.

At the time of his death, Dr. Schultz was the CTO of Emagined Security, an information security consultancy based in San Carlos, California. He held certifications as a CISM, CISSP, and GSLC.

Personal Reflections

As I recall, I first “met” Gene almost 25 years ago, when he was involved with the CIAC and I was involved with network security. We exchanged email about security issues and his time at Purdue. I may have even met him earlier — I can’t recall, exactly. It seems we have been friends forever. We also crossed paths once or twice at conferences, but it was only incidental.

In 1998, I started CERIAS at Purdue. I had contacted personnel at the (now defunct) company Global Integrity while at the National Computer Security Conference that year about supporting the effort at CERIAS. What followed was a wonderful collaboration: Gene was the Director of Research for Global Integrity, and as part of their support for CERIAS they “loaned” Gene to us for several years. Gene, Cathy and Leah moved to West Lafayette, a few houses away from where I lived, and Gene proceeded to help us in research and teaching courses over the next three years while he worked remotely for GI.

The students at Purdue loved Gene, but that seems to have been the case for everywhere he taught. Gene had a gift for conveying complex concepts to students, and had incredible patience when dealing with them one-on-one. He came up with great assignments, sprinkled his lectures with interesting stories from his experience, and encouraged the students to try things to see what they might discover. He was inspirational. He was inspirational as a colleague; too, although we both traveled so much that we didn’t get to see each other too often.

In 2001 he parted ways with Global Integrity, and moved his family back to California. This was no doubt influenced by the winters they had experienced in Indiana — too much of a reminder of grad student days for Gene and Cathy! I remember one time that we all got together to watch a New Year’s Purdue football bowl appearance, and the snow was so high as to make the roads impassable for a few days. Luckily, we lived near each other and it was only a short walk to warmth, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. grin

In the following years, Gene and I kept in close touch. We served on a few committees and editorial boards together, regularly saw each other at conferences, and kept the email flowing back and forth. He returned to Purdue and CERIAS several times to conduct seminars and joint research. He was generous with his time to the students and faculty who met with him.

Earlier this year, several of us put together a proposal to a funding agency. In it, we listed Gene as an outside expert to review and advise us on our work. We had room in the budget to pay him almost any fee he requested. But, when I spoke with him on the phone, he indicated he didn’t care if we paid more than his expenses — “I want to help CERIAS students and advance the field” was his rationale.

Since I learned of the news of his accident, and subsequent passing, I have provided some updates and notes to friends, colleagues, former students, and others via social media and email. So many people who knew Gene have responded with stories. There are three elements that are frequently repeated, and from my experience they help to define the man:

  • Equity. Gene treated everyone the same when he met them. It didn’t matter if someone was a CEO, Senator, freshman, or custodian — he treated them with respect and listened to what they might have to say.
  • Humor. Gene loved to laugh, and loved to make others laugh. He shared funny stories and odd things found on the WWW, and had wonderful stories that helped make others smile. And he smiled, a lot, and shared his joy.
  • Consideration. Gene was compassionate, thoughtful, and gentle. He would often inconvenience himself for others, without complaint. He loved his family and let his friends know they were special.   

Gene Schultz was a wonderful role model, mentor and friend for a huge number of people, including being a husband to a delightful wife for 36 years and father to three wonderful daughters. Our world is a little less bright with him gone, but so very much better that he was with us for the time he was here.

E. Eugene Schultz, Jr., 9/10/46–10/2/11. Requiescat in pace.


Posted by Sandra Sparks
on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 02:08 PM

Gene has left a lasting legacy. I had to privelege of following Genes’ footsteps in lead CIAC. Motivating DOE for creation of this organization lead to many other developments in computer security incident response—other teams, FIRST, and others.

He will be missed!

Posted by dee
on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 09:57 AM

What a wonderful description of a great man. Thanks for sharing and letting us know about Gene. I did not have the pleasure of meeting him but am grateful of his existence.

Posted by declan
on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 05:19 AM

its always difficult to read about such a loss when many years should be left but taken away early with his genius.


Posted by Wordpress Development India
on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 01:23 AM

may his soul rests in peace. :(

Posted by Paul Kendall
on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 06:31 AM

I had the privilege of working on several committees with Gene, and we frequently met at conferences or, on occasion, in airports headed in different directions.

Gene was an iconic figure in security, and the profession is a little sadder place right now in his absence.

So long, Gene. You will be missed.

Posted by John
on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 09:19 AM

This is such a shame in the way that he has past away, falling down an escalator its such a tragedy. My thoughts go with his family.


Posted by
on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 01:33 AM

Really, Gene was a true compass in the group of people. He had honesty and his word was gold. He had more energy and eagerness than most people half his age. Gene always had words of support and his interest and smile were catching! He had a way of making me feel special, but I know he did that with everyone. He was a astral friend and adviser. May he rest in peace.

Posted by heavengirl
on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 04:07 AM

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

~Christina Rossetti

taken from

Posted by Daniel
on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

a great man, condolences to family and friends, may he rest in peace

Posted by Ruby Bauske
on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 09:49 AM

I heard Gene speak about computer security when I started my career in IT Audit in the late 1990’s.  What an inspiration!  What an effective evangelist!  My condolences to his family and close colleagues.

Posted by John
on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 09:25 AM

Great loss of this community.

Posted by Timothy Bloom
on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 01:33 AM

I never knew Gene personally, but I’ve been inspired by his story, being that I am in computer hardware, and actually before the PC Era, back when Cobalt and Fortran were all and hard drives were 150 pounds

Posted by Rest In Peace
on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 08:38 AM

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

~Christina Rossetti

<a href=“”>Rest In Peace Poems</a>

Posted by Matt Mason
on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 01:38 AM

I had the opportunity of recently going through a class on Cloud Computing under his instruction.His lightheartedness and particularly his generousity with his time left a lasting impression on me and I strive to live up to his example with my own students.

Posted by xem boi tinh yeu
on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 01:37 PM

a great loss, not what a pain it is said ... sincerely mourned! xem boi tinh yeu hmmm

Posted by Clarion CX 501
on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 06:28 PM

Gene left his legacy.  More than can be said for many of his peers today.  Rest in peace.


Posted by
on Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 04:25 AM

My sincerest condolence. It’s really sad to lose one of the world’s best. For his family, be strong. Now, God is not the only One guiding you, but Gene as well.

-Jess, web designer

Posted by Angel parker
on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 04:05 AM

He was a great man. I have heard a lot of stories about him. His friends and colleagues remember as being one of the first to sound the alarm or threats like spam and exposed and at risk applications.

Posted by David
on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 02:12 PM

When a loved one leaves us and contributed to the community, is a normal feeling of emptiness. But we also have to see what he has left behind him, his work, which has been achieved and accept change.

All the best.

Posted by ProjeX
on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 06:28 AM

Gene was the tributary and friend which led me to Prof. Spaf. I met him while interning at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and he instilled in me my first ounce of curiosity in the field of information security and lit a spark that shaped my education/career. Always encouraging and enthusiastic, an unforgettable soul who will be deeply missed but always remembered.

Posted by Ray Kaplan
on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 08:28 PM

Cathy, family and friends

Spaf, thanks for doing this memorial to Gene

I am sad to read of Gene’s untimely passing.

I knew Gene for several decades. I must say that he was one of the most genuine and kindest people I have known. He was always quick of wit, free with a kind word, and genuinely interested in you. I was always pleasantly surprised that he always recognized me and had the time for a chat - even a meal now and again. This was always no simple thing given how busy he always was.  The large number of people who he met and dealt with over the years sought his company, wherever he went around the world. We regularly commiserated about the ills of the industry and the world. Why if we were king…

One of my many Gene anecdotes illustrates his nature. I attended the formation meeting of the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST). I had the temerity to stand up and tell the assembled group that their secretive ways were, at the very least, not serving the interests of the community at large, and at best were generally reprehensible.

At the time Sun Microsystems was the only vendor that freely shared information about vulnerabilities in their software. Other vendors had their head wedged - they were simply not talking to anyone about the vulnerabilities in their software. Worse, the surrounding community was extremely insular. I continued to be ostracized and castigated for my efforts to openly discuss vulnerabilities. In the face of this secretive group, Gene was the only one who told me that I was telling the truth and cheered me on in the tough work of telling the emperor that he had no clothes.

I like to think that I shared his penchant for honor and ethics in not shrinking from the doing the right thing.

I miss you, my friend.

I wish the family peace and strength

Ray Kaplan

Posted by jad
on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 12:27 AM

Gene was a very good instructor. he thought me a lot of things and i learned a lot too. i will always remember his teaching and apply it whenever I can.

Posted by Mike Workman
on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 06:36 AM

Spaf, thank you for posting this tribute to Gene. He was a truly inspirational guy aside from his contribution to our field. His absence will be long felt. - Mike Workman

Posted by
on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I am sorry for the loss of this wonderful man, husband, friend, father, colleague, profession, and person. His life is an inspiration to us all and this country needs more like him.

My prayers are with his family.

Posted by Kelly Gibson
on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 09:55 AM

Eugene don’t know me but I know him because of his profession. A great loss for computer security community.

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