Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell Dies

Colin Powell, America’s war hero and former black secretary of state, has died from complications from COVID-19, his family said Monday. He is 84 years old.

“We have lost a wonderful and loving husband, father, grandfather and American people,” the family said in a statement posted to social media.

The family said Powell was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and thanked the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center outside Washington who treated Powell in his final days.

President George Bush lends his glasses to first lady Barbara Bush as she awards the Medal of Freedom to General Colin Powell, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (center), at the White House, July 3, 1991.

President George Bush lends his glasses to first lady Barbara Bush as she awards the Medal of Freedom to General Colin Powell, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (center), at the White House, July 3, 1991.

Powell was secretary of state from 2001 to 2005 in Republican President George W. Bush’s first term. Previously, the four-star Army general and active in the military for 35 years, served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1983, under Bush’s father, President George HW Bush.

Powell, a moderate Republican and a pragmatist, considered becoming the first black president in 1996 but his wife’s fears for his safety led him to drop it. In 2008, he dissented with his party in favor of Democratic Barack Obama, who later became the first black person elected to the White House. [ka/ab]

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