Former Secretary of State Colin Powell died from Covid-19 complications at the age of 84. Tributes have been paid.

His family confirmed that the former military chief died Monday morning. He had been fully immunized.

In 2001, George W Bush made Powell the Republican president’s first African-American secretary d’√Čtat.

His support of the Iraq War caused controversy.

In a family statement, the family stated that “we have lost a remarkable, loving husband, father and grandfather” and expressed gratitude to the Walter Reid Medical Center for “their caring treatment”.

Multiple myeloma was a form of blood cancer that Powell previously had. It may have increased his vulnerability to Covid symptoms according to US media as well as Parkinson’s.

Joe Biden called Powell a dear friend and stated that Powell represented the highest ideals of diplomat as well as warrior.

  • Colin Powell – Obituary

Bush, the former President of the United States was one of the first to honor Bush as “a great public servant”, as well “a family man” and “a friend”. Bush also earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice.

Dick Cheney (Vice President of Bush) praised Powell as “a man that loved his country, served her long-and well” and called him “a pioneer and role model for many”.

Condoleezza, Powell’s successor in the secretary of State role and the first Black woman to do so, described him as “a truly great men” who “devoted his nation not only to the great things that he did in uniform but also during his time at Washington”.

He will be remembered by the thousands of children he touched.

Antony Blinken, the current secretary of state, called Powell’s “victory of American Dream”

Blinken stated that Powell was a great leader for the Department of State. He believed in America and we continue to believe in America because of Colin Powell’s contribution.”

Tony Blair, a former Prime Minister of UK and a close friend of Powell in the beginning of the war in Iraq, described him as someone with “immense ability and integrity”, who was also “a great companion” with “a beautiful and self-deprecatingly funny sense of humor”.

Notable African-American leaders also sent their condolences. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, called him “a sincere man committed to his cause”, and members of Congress Black Caucus praised the “legacy for valour” and “integrity” of Sharpton.

Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defence, was the first African-American to hold that position. He called Powell a “tremendous personal friend” and mentor who is “impossible replace.”

  • Colin Powell was a man my father looked up too. He was an army officer. It was very inspiring to see a black person rise up to such prominent military roles and even into a position of power. While I don’t know the truth, his perception of him is more complicated. – Isaiah Reeves, 25, Tennessee
  • I was influenced by his influence on my decisions [as a Jamaican-American]The decision to join the army was important. It was not expected that a young Jamaican-American boy living in New York City would be able to rise up through the ranks of the military. As Secretary of the State, I saw that individuals could achieve anything, no matter their socio-economic background. – Michelle Dunkley, 57, New Jersey

Powell, once moderate Republican, became a trusted advisor military to several leading US politicians.

However, he split with his party in order to support Barack Obama (2008) and Hillary Clinton (2016). He also endorsed Joe Biden for 2020. Powell, a harsh critic of Republican president Donald Trump’s policies and conducts himself as if he were no longer a Republican following the violent 6 Jan riot at US Capitol.

He saw combat duty in Vietnam and was later wounded. His experiences helped to define his political and military strategies.

He would however say that his legacy was damaged when he spoke to the United Nations Security Council, in which he used flawed intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq.

It was very painful. “It’s still painful,” Powell stated to ABC News 2005.

Colin Powell is an American icon of success. He was the son of immigrant parents and rose to become the first African-American to hold the top positions in the US diplomatic corps.

Powell, a popular American figure with an appeal that transcended political borders in the 1990s was a reminder of Dwight D Eisenhower’s Second World War experience.

Powell, unlike Eisenhower would not run for the presidency, despite numerous calls.

These phone calls declined after 2003 US invasions of Iraq. Powell later said that this was an “embarrassment” to his legacy. Powell had built his reputation around the Iraqi presence of weapons of mass destruction, and it cost him his reputation.

Powell’s later years were marked by a change in icon status. The decline of Powell’s internationalist, moderate faction in the American conservative movement reflected his departure from the Republican Party after Donald Trump’s election.

Powell’s death may have been a bit too much for some, since he is now the most famous American victim to Covid-19.

Source: BBC.com

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