Colin Powell, the first Black US former secretary of state has died from complications from Covid-19, his family said on Facebook. He was 84.
Powell served as secretary of state during the presidency of George W. Bush and led the first Gulf War as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. His leadership in the Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last couple of years to the early years of the 20th and 21st century.
Powell, died Monday morning. He was “fully vaccinated” against the coronavirus, his family said. But he battled ailments, telling Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward over the summer that he had Parkinson’s disease. Powell’s longtime aide, Peggy Cifrino, said Monday that he was also treated over the past few years for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that suppress the body’s immune system and unable able to fight infection. Meanwhile Studies have shown that those cancer patients don’t get as much protection from the COVID-19 vaccines as healthier people.
He had Parkinson’s disease. Powell had also been treated for prostate cancer in 2003.
And in a Facebook post. “We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment,” the family said. “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
Former president Bush said in a statement Monday that Powell was “a great public servant” who was “such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom, twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”
In a White House statement, President Biden said Powell “believed in the promise of America because he lived it. And he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others.”
Biden said Powell “embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat.”
“From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation’s policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong,” the president said. “Time and again, he put country before self, before party, before all else — in uniform and out — and it earned him the universal respect of the American people.”