Well, Schildt's wikipedia page says he was involved in C++ standardisation in the 90s. I don't know myself if that's correct or not.
As for exceptions, they were developed in the late 80s, standardised in the early 90s, and there were commercial compilers supporting exceptions since at least '92 apparently. See: http://www.stroustrup.com/hopl2.pdf. The release history of GCC possibly isn't that relevant, a number of proprietary implementations of C++ had more significant usage than g++ back then iirc.