Colin Powell, trailblazing soldier and statesman, dead at 84
Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and US secretary of state, died on Monday morning at age 84 from complications of Covid-19. Although he was fully vaccinated, he was undergoing treatment for blood cancer, which made him immunocompromised.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” his family said on Facebook.
Official statement from the Powell family, via Facebook.
Born on April 5, 1937 in Harlem to Jamaican immigrants, Powell was an All-American trailblazer: he became the country’s first Black national security advisor, first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and first Black secretary of state.
Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, serving two tours in Vietnam that earned him a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and the Soldier’s Medal for heroism, among other decorations. Following a meteoric rise through the Army ranks, he went on to work for both Democratic and Republican presidents, first as national security advisor under Ronald Reagan, then as chairman of the Joint Chiefs under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and finally as secretary of state under George W. Bush.
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