General Colin Powell, the first African American National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, has passed away from complications of Covid-19, ABC News reports. He was 84. His immune system had been comprised as he was battling cancer.
His passing was confirmed on his official Facebook page by his family.
“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,” the post read.
“He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment.” the post read. “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American.”
Born to Jamaican immigrants in Harlem, Colin Luther Powell grew up in the South Bronx and graduated from City College of New York. Later, through the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program, he would join the Army.
As a second lieutenant, Powell served two decorated combat tours in Vietnam.
Powell rose through the ranks, eventually becoming national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War. He was instrumental in negotiating the terms of the arms treaties with Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who was President of the Soviet Union at the time.
As chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he was one of the key architects of the invasion of the Persian Gulf war in 1991. His exploits established the” Powell Doctrine” on military operations where pre-emptive force was deployed to defeat foreign enemies with public support.
After retiring from the military in 1993, he returned to public service in 2001 as secretary of state to President George W. Bush.
In 2008, Powell, broke with the Republican party, endorsing then-Senator Barack Obama, calling him a “transformational figure.”
Powell spent his entire adult life in service to his country. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Alma Powell, and his son, Michael.