Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who served in the George W. Bush administration as the first black secretary of State, died today from complications of COVID-19. He was 84 years old.
Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations, and as National Security Advisor in the Reagan administration.
Powell was fully vaccinated, but had multiple myeloma and died from COVID complications at Walter Reed Medical Center.
“The world lost one of the greatest leaders that we have ever witnessed. Alma lost a great husband, and the family lost a tremendous father. And I lost a tremendous personal friend and mentor,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters. “He has been my mentor for a number of years. He always made time for me and I could always go to him with tough issues. He always had great counsel.”
“We will certainly miss him. I feel as if I have a hole in my heart, just learning of this recently,” Austin added. “He was the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs, first African-American Secretary of State and a man who was respected around the globe. Quite frankly, it is not possible to replace a Colin Powell. We will miss him.”