comscore

First Black Secretary of State, Colin Powell Dies of COVID Complications at 84

10/18/2021 12:00 AM EDT by WBLS Staff

First Black Secretary of State - Colin Powell dies at 84 of COVID complications.

The family of former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced on Facebook today that "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 was fully vaccinated. Powell was a military man, serving from 1958 to 1993 achieving the rank of General in the US Army and eventually becoming the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Colin Powell was a Bronx-native, raised by Jamaican-immigrant parents, and he graduated from NYC public schools. In 2001, as a Republican under President George Bush - Powell was the first African-American Secretary of State and the highest-ranking African American in the history of the federal government at the time.Powell was an instrumental part of both the Bush and Reagan administrations, but towards the end of his life he became less interested in the Republican party. General Powell endorsed Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden in his old age. He told CNN's Fareed Zakaria "I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican. I'm not a fellow of anything right now." Colin Powell was a model Army-man with strong political intuition. Although his record was spotted from decades within the National Security System, Powell was widely admired by his peers in government, both Republican and Democrat. As Secretary of State Powell was instrumental in the continuation of the Iraq War and would go on to express regret towards his missteps in the Middle East.