Former Secretary of State Dies of COVID-19


Braden Buchek

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell died on Monday, October 18, at the age of 84 due to COVID-19 complications.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” said Powell’s family, adding that he was fully vaccinated.

Powell was born in Harlem, New York, on April 5, 1937. He attended City College in New York, where he began his military career, joining the ROTC. He graduated at the top of his class with the highest ranking in the corps, Cadet Colonel. He served in the military for 35 years, and he was one of 16,000 military advisors sent to South Vietnam by John F. Kennedy in 1962. He was awarded the Purple Heart, and later the Bronze Star. During his service, he was injured in a helicopter crash, and despite his own injuries, managed to rescue fellow soldiers from the crash. Because of this, he was awarded the Soldier’s Medal. In all, he received 11 military decorations, including the Legion of Merit.

“Laura [Bush] and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell,” said former President George W. Bush, “He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma [Powell] and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”

He began his career in politics during the Nixon Administration, working in the White House Office of Management and Budget. He then received his MBA from George Washington University. During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he served as assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, as well as assistant to the Secretary of Energy. He was then promoted to Major General. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed Powell to National Security Advisor, which he held until 1989. Powell was then appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 1989, by President George H.W. Bush. This made him the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the youngest officer ever to hold the post. He stepped down from the post in 1993. President George W. Bush nominated him for Secretary of State in December of 2000. 

“General Powell had a remarkably distinguished career, and I was fortunate to work with him,” said former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who served under President George W. Bush.

America is going to miss this true patriot, soldier, and hero.

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