Colin Powell, the first Black United States Secretary of State, on Monday, died from COVID-19 complications.
According to a report by CNN, the 84-year-old, whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, died on Monday morning.
The family wrote on Facebook, “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.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” they said, noting he was fully vaccinated.
Powell was a distinguished and trailblazing professional soldier whose career took him from combat duty in Vietnam to becoming the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.
His national popularity soared in the aftermath of the US-led coalition victory during the Gulf War, and for a time in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first Black President of the United States.
But his reputation would be forever stained when, as George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, he pushed faulty intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he would later call a “blot” on his record.