WASHIINGTON (AP) — Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and Secretary of State, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He was 84.
In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated.
News of Mr Powell’s death was confirmed in a report from the Associated Press.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father and grandfather and a great American,” the family said in its social media post.
In 1989 Powell became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that role he oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama and later the U.S. invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991.
Colin Powell, who also was a US Secretary of State between 2001 and 2005, served Democratic and Republican presidents in both war and peace times.
He left behind an indelible reputation as a straight-shooter who considered — then rejected — a run for the presidency.
But his reputation also suffered a painful setback when, in 2003, Powell went before the U.N. Security Council and made the case for U.S. war against Iraq. He cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction, disputing Iraq’s claims that it had not represented “a web of lies”.
Former President George W. Bush said 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.”