Colin L. Powell, America’s first Black national security advisor, former secretary of state, four-star general, and proponent in education, died Monday, October 18 at the age of 84.
Family members said that the cause of his death was complications with Covid-19. He was vaccinated, but because of a weakened immune system due to multiple myeloma - a white blood cell cancer - he was unable to fight off the virus.
Powell was scheduled to receive a booster shot for the vaccine, but because he felt ill from earlier treatment, he postponed it.
His family said, "we have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
Powell became the first Black secretary of state under President George W. Bush. In February 2003, Powell, being the nation’s chief diplomat, delivered a renowned speech, formalizing the White House argument for invading Iraq, to the United Nations Security Council.
President Bush and former first lady Laura Bush said that they were “deeply saddened” by Powell’s death.
Powell wasn’t only active during Bush’s term, but he was very much appreciated by many presidents, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice.
He also served in Vietnam, incurring wounds during the first tour and rescuing a few men from a burning helicopter during the second tour.
President Joe Biden and Powell were close friends when they served in the Senate together.
"Easy to share a laugh with . . . A trusted confidant in good and hard times,” President Biden said.
Flags are flown at half-staff, as we remember Powell’s service and good deeds to the U.S.