*Former four-star general and U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell has died from COVID-19 complications at age 84.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” Powell’s family announced Monday.
Forbes reports that Powell passed away Monday morning after receiving treatment at the Walter Reed National Medical Center in Maryland. He had been fully vaccinated.
Powell is survived by his wife, Alma Johnson Powell, their three children, as well as grandchildren.
The family said in a Facebook post: “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. He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
Born in Harlem to Jamaican parents, Powell was the first Black secretary of state under former President George W. Bush. After serving two tours in Vietnam he became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989. Powell was the national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War. As chairman, he oversaw Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
In an interview with The New York Times in 2007, Powell said of himself: “Powell is a problem-solver. He was taught as a soldier to solve problems. So he has views, but he’s not an ideologue. He has passion but he’s not a fanatic. He’s first and foremost a problem-solver.”
Former President Bush issued a statement on Powell’s death, writing, “Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell.”
“He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience. He was National Security Adviser under President Reagan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under my father and President Clinton and Secretary of State during my Administration,” said Bush. “He was such a favorite of President that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
*This is a developing story and will be updated.