The first Black U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, just passed away from COVID-19.
The family of Powell shared the tragic news of the 84-year-old’s death on Facebook. They wrote, “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,” according to CNN.
Colin Powell Dies at 84
Colin Powell has been a key figure in shaping parts of American foreign policy. Specifically, he did so during the end of the 20th century and into the beginning of the 21st century.
Powell’s family notes that he was in fact fully vaccinated when he contracted COVID-19 and eventually died from complications related to the virus. The family is devastated over the loss and also said, “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
He served as the 65th United States Secretary of state from 2001 to 2005. Prior to the presidency of President Barack Obama, Powell was actually the highest-ranking African American male in the entire history of the federal branch of government.
In addition to this trailblazing role, he also was the National Security Advisor from 1987 to 1989. He was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.
Military Career and Eventual Retirement
He was born in New York City in 1937 in the South Bronx. His parents had actually originally immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica. In addition to his roles in the office, Colin Powell was also a distinguished soldier.
He served in Vietnam as a soldier for combat. Eventually, he would also become the first Black national security advisor. Due to his professional career and ongoing success, many thought that Colin Powell would someday be elected as the first Black President of the United States.
However, his reputation was tainted after one particular mistake. He gave faulty intelligence in front of the United Nations in order to advocate for the Iraq War as George W. Bush’s first secretary of state.
Once he retired, Powell wrote his book “My American Journey.”
He would also become a public speaker and shared his story and experiences with audiences all around the country. During his career, he has earned honors like the Presidental Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Citizens Medal.
He once identified as a member of the Republican Party. Following the January 2021 Capitol building insurrection, he said that he officially left the Republican Party.
His wife was Alma Johnson since 1962. The couple have three kids — Michael, Linda, and Annemarie. His son was a chairman of the FCC from 2001 to 2005. His daughter Linda is an actress.