Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has died aged 84 due to complications from COVID-19.
Powell was previously diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that inhibits the body’s ability to fight infection.
“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,” said his family on his Facebook page.
Powell was known for being 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 during the term of former president President George H.W. Bush.
Powell was born April 5, 1937, in Harlem, New York while both his parents are Jamaican immigrants.
Powell went to school at the City College of New York before joining the U.S. Army after graduating in 1958.
During Powell’s two-year service, he was wounded twice, including during a helicopter crash in which he rescued two soldiers.
As Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was involved in the 1989 Panama operation, the 1991 Gulf War, and the U.S. humanitarian intervention in Somalia.
Powell is survived by his wife Alma Johnson, his son Michael, and his daughters Linda and Annemarie.
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