Retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell, the 35-year veteran who rose the ranks to become the nation’s first Black secretary of state, has died after suffering complications from COVID-19. He was 84.
Powell, who was fully vaccinated, died Monday morning, according to a post by his family on Facebook.
“We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment,” the family said. “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
Powell served multiple Republican administrations and was often named as a potential contender for the White House. He served as the first Black national security adviser, Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state under former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively.
Powell was the top military official overseeing the Desert Storm operation in Iraq in the early 1990s, and later made the case for action in Iraq after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001 — though he pressed the George W. Bush administration to build international support.
A speech Powell gave to the United Nations — which a Senate report later revealed included factual errors based on faulty intelligence — was a key diplomatic effort in building support for the invasion of Iraq. Powell later told Barbara Walters it was a “blot” on his record.
This story is developing.