WASHINGTON – Colin Powell, who was the first black Secretary of State and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died at the age of 84 from COVID-19 complications.
“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.
Born April 5, 1937, in Harlem, New York, the son to Jamaican immigrants, Powell was a ground-breaking figure in Washington and garnered respect from both sides of the aisle.
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.
On the heels of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Powell supported a swift military response against al-Qaeda.
During a speech at the United Nations, Powell presented intelligence that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction with the ambition to produce more.
He had other pre–existing conditions, including Parkinson’s.