Colin Powell, a former military leader who became a towering figure in American politics as the first Black U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning after complications from COVID-19. He was 84.
Powell’s family announced his passing in a Facebook post saying, “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.” They added that he was fully vaccinated but had been struggling with several health problems for years, including multiple myeloma — a blood cancer which left him with a weakened immune system.
Powell’s rise through the ranks of the military led him to decades of service to presidents starting with Ronald Reagan as a national security advisor. From there he served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then Secretary of State under George W. Bush where he served a key role in the administration’s response to the 9-11 attacks. Bush said in a statement today, “He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. He was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”
Powell is survived by his wife Alma, and their three children.
Written by: Tony Williams