Colin Powell, a US war hero and the first Black secretary of state has died from complications from Covid-19. He was 84.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said in a statement posted to social media on Monday.
In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated.
The retired four-star general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who served four presidents made his reputation as a man of honor distant from the political fray — an asset in the corridors of power.
After the 1991 Gulf War he was so widely respected that he was even touted as a future president of the United States, but ultimately he never ran for the White House.
Former President George W. Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were “deeply saddened” by Powell’s death.
“He was a great public servant” and “widely respected at home and abroad,” Bush said. “And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
Powell’s reputation suffered a painful setback when, in 2003 when he went before the U.N. Security Council and made the case for U.S. war against Iraq. He cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s claims that it had not represented “a web of lies,” he told the world body.
“It’s a blot… and will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now,” Powell said in a 2005 interview with ABC News.