Colin Powell, the first Black secretary of state and a retired four-star general, has died at age 84 of COVID-19 related complications.
"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," Powell's family wrote on Facebook on Monday morning, Oct. 18.
"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great America."
Powell's family said he had been vaccinated.
Powell was known as the epitome of a soldier-statesman who put his country and family above all else.
A New York City native, Powell was born in Harlem, the sons of Jamaican immigrants. He was raised in the South Bronx.
He launched his military career by joining the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) while he was a student at the City College of New York.
After serving in the Vietnam War, he was awarded a White House Fellowship under President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1973. He then attended the National War College in Washington, DC before becoming the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Under President George H.W. Bush, Powell became the first Black and the youngest chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He later became President George W. Bush's first secretary of state.
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