Colin Powell, former general and secretary of state, dies of COVID complications at 84

Powell
In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the virtual convention on August 18, 2020. Photo credit Handout/DNCC via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (1010 WINS) – Gen. Colin Powell, who served under multiple presidents, including as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was the first Black U.S. Secretary of State, died early Monday from complications of COVID-19, his family said. He was 84.

According to NBC News, Powell had multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that limits the body’s ability to fight infections, like COVID-19. Powell was being treated at Walter Reed National Medical Center, according to his family, who said he was fully vaccinated.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” his family said in a statement posted to Facebook.

In addition to serving as secretary of state under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton from 1989 to 1993.

In this Sept. 25, 1991, file photo, Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, at a House Armed Services subcommittee
In this Sept. 25, 1991, file photo, Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, at a House Armed Services subcommittee. Photo credit AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander, File

Powell was born in Harlem in 1937 to Jamaican immigrants and raised in the South Bronx, where he attended Morris High School.

“Mine is the story of a black kid of no early promise from an immigrant family of limited means who was raised in the South Bronx,” he wrote in his 1995 autobiography “My American Journey.”

In this Dec. 30, 1986, file photo, U.S. Lieutenant General Colin Powell, commander of the 5th U.S. corps, salutes while his wife Alma stands in attention during a farewell ceremony in Frankfurt
In this Dec. 30, 1986, file photo, U.S. Lieutenant General Colin Powell, commander of the 5th U.S. corps, salutes while his wife Alma stands in attention during a farewell ceremony in Frankfurt. Photo credit AP Photo/Udo Weitz

After graduating from the City College of New York, he took an Army commission and served in Vietnam before he rose in the ranks to become general. He was appointed as the head of the National Security Council by President Ronald Reagan and then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George H.W. Bush.