This morning, news has broken that former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has passed away. Powell, was 84 and, per CNN, died due to complications from COVID-19. Powell had previously been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, has died from complications from Covid-19, his family said on Facebook. He was 84.
“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,” they said, noting he was fully vaccinated.
Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937. He was raised in the South Bronx, graduating from Morris High School in 1954. He attended City College of New York and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps while there. He was commissioned as an Army Second Lieutenant upon graduation. As a Captain, he served a tour in Vietnam as an ARVN advisor.
He served as National Security Advisor for President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989. Powell was promoted to four-star general in April 1989. Later that year, he was selected by President George H. W. Bush as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and served as such until September 1993.
Powell then served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2005.
Powell married Alma Johnson in 1962. They had a son, Michael, who served as chairman of the FCC in the early 2000s, and two daughters, Linda and Annemarie.