Colin Powell, the former secretary of State and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died from Covid complications on Sept 18, at the age of 84.

Powell was previously diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that hurts the body’s ability to fight infections.

“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19,” the Powell family wrote on Facebook.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said, noting he was fully vaccinated.

Summary

  • Colin Powell, the first black  secretary of State and Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff, died Monday at age of 84
  • His family announced his passing on Facebook and said it was ‘due to complications from Covid 19’ despite being ‘fully vaccinated’ 
  • When diagnosed with COVID, Powell was already battling blood cancer and living with Parkinson’s
  • Colin Powell is, to this day, the only black man to have ever served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – appointed by George H. W. Bush and serving two years into Bill Clinton’s presidency
  • He rose in the ranks of the Pentagon after first joining the military as part of ROTC during college and serving in Vietnam. Colin Powell went on to serve as an Army lieutenant after graduation
  • After serving in multiple top-tier positions, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Powell retired as a four star general and went on to serve as Secretary of State
  • Colin Powell is survived by his wife, Alma Powell, and his three children Michael, Linda and Annemarie
  • Alma Powell also had a breakthrough case of coronavirus 

Colin Powell – The military leader and first Black US secretary of state

Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants, became the first Black national security adviser during the Reagan administration. President George H.W. Bush tapped Powell to be the youngest and first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As chairman, he oversaw America’s Desert Storm operations during the Persian Gulf war. After 35 years of military service, Powell retired from the U.S. Army as a four-star general.

In 2001, he became the first Black secretary of State under President George W. Bush.

Colin Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state.

But his reputation also suffered a painful setback when, in 2003, Powell went before the U.N. Security Council and made the case for U.S. war against Iraq. He cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s claims that it had not represented “a web of lies,” he told the world body.

“I think it shows to the world what is possible in this country,” Powell said of his history-making nomination during his Senate confirmation hearing. “It shows to the world that: Follow our model, and over a period of time from our beginning, if you believe in the values that espouse, you can see things as miraculous as me sitting before you to receive your approval.”