Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has died at the age of 84 of Covid-19 complications, his family has announced.
The Republican was a former top military officer who rose to become the first African-American secretary of state in 2000 under George W Bush.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” a statement said.
Powell was a distinguished soldier whose career took him from combat in Vietnam to a turn as the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.
His popularity soared in the aftermath of the US-led coalition victory during the Gulf War, and for a time in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first Black President of the United States.
But his reputation would be forever stained when, as George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, he pushed faulty intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he would later call a “blot” on his record.
Colin Powell had battled other ailments, including Parkinson's, @nancycordes reports.
His wife, Alma, also contracted COVID but responded well to treatment. pic.twitter.com/LnE66Kzzrk
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 18, 2021