First Black US secretary of state Powell dies due to Covid-19
Former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell, the first African American to hold that office, died on Monday at the age of 84 due to complications from COVID-19.
He was fully vaccinated, his family said in a statement on Facebook.
Powell was one of America’s foremost Black figures for decades. He was named to senior posts by three Republican presidents and reached the top of the U.S. military as it was regaining its vigor after the trauma of the Vietnam War.
Powell, who was wounded in Vietnam, served as U.S. national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989. As a four-star Army general, he was chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.
In 2008, he broke with his party to endorse Barack Obama, a Democrat who became the first African American elected as US president.
Powell left a dark legacy for going before the U.N. Security Council in 2003 and made faulty claims to justify the U.S. war in Iraq.
Powell admitted later that the presentation was rife with inaccuracies and twisted intelligence provided by others in the Bush administration and represented “a blot” that will “always be a part of my record”.