Colin Powell, 84, Dies of COVID Complications

Aaron Gould Sheinin

October 18, 2021

Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died early Monday from complications of COVID-19, his family said in a statement.

Powell, 84, was the first Black secretary of state when he served under President George W. Bush and was an influential advisor to four presidents and helped shape decades of American foreign policy.  

Powell was fully vaccinated, his family said on Facebook.

"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American," the post says.

NBC News reported that Powell had a type of white blood cell cancer called multiple myeloma, which can make people more susceptible to severe COVID-19.

Powell was born in the Harlem section of New York City and served in the military most of his adult life. He served two tours in Vietnam and was wounded in the first, earning a Purple Heart. After the war, he steadily rose through the ranks to lieutenant colonel to brigadier general in 1979.

Under President Ronald Reagan, Powell became national security advisor and in 1989 received his fourth star and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush, and the first 9 months of President Bill Clinton's first term in office.

Powell retired from the Army in 1993 and was awarded his second Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As President George W. Bush's secretary of state, Powell infamously offered faulty intelligence to the United Nations as Bush called for war with Iraq. Powell later would call that moment a "blot" on his record, CNN reported.

Sources:

Facebook.com: GenPowell, Oct. 18, 2021

Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Colin Luther Powell."

CNN: "Colin Powell, military leader and first Black US secretary of state, dies after complications from Covid-19."

Nature: "Response to mRNA vaccination for COVID-19 among patients with multiple myeloma."

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