Colin Powell, the first Black secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has died from complications from COVID-19.
Powell was 84. He passed away Monday morning.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” Powell’s family said in a statement released on Facebook, adding that he was fully vaccinated.
Former President George W. Bush told The Associated Press that he and former first lady Laura Bush were “deeply saddened” by Powell’s death.
“He was a great public servant” and “widely respected at home and abroad,” Bush said. “And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
Powell was appointed Secretary of State by Bush in 2000, serving during Bush’s first term. Powell served two tours in Vietnam and rose through the ranks to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989.
During his tenure as chairman, Powell oversaw Operation Desert Storm in 1991. While Secretary of State, he went before the U.N. to argue the U.S. case for the Iraq war, utilizing faulty information on Saddam Hussein hiding away weapons of mass destruction.