Search icon


18th Oct 2021

Colin Powell: Former US Secretary of State dies due to complications from Covid-19

Charlie Herbert

Colin Powell dies aged 84

He was America’s first black Secretary of State

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has died aged 84 after suffering complications due to Covid-19.

His family released a statement on Facebook on Monday, saying: “General Colin L Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19.

“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.”

Powell, a Republican, served as the US Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005 under the presidency of George Bush, becoming the first African-American to be appointed to the position.

During his career as a soldier he fought in Vietnam before later becoming the country’s first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

However his reputation took a huge hit as Secretary of State when he supported US involvement in Iraq and helped to persuade the UN of the case for war, only to admit 18 months later that intelligence suggesting Saddam Huseein had possessed “weapons of mass destruction” was almost certainly wrong. He would later call a “blot” on his record.

When he became Secretary of State, he was the highest-ranking Black public official there had been.

After being sworn into the position he said: “I think it shows to the world what is possible in this country.

“It shows to the world that: Follow our model, and over a period of time from our beginning, if you believe in the values that espouse, you can see things as miraculous as me sitting before you to receive your approval.”

Later in his career he grew disillusioned with his party’s move to the right, and used his political influence to help elect Democrats to the White House. In the final weeks of the 2008 presidential campaign, he endorsed Barack Obama, a move which was seen as a significant boost to Obama’s candidacy.

He is survived by his wife, Alma Vivian (Johnson) Powell, whom he married in 1962, as well as three children.