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Former US defence chief, Colin Powell has died

Colin Powell, the first Black United States Secretary of State, has died from complications from Covid-19 at the age of 84.

This was made known by his family in a post on Facebook on Monday.

“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,” the Powell family wrote on Facebook.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American,” they said, noting he was fully vaccinated.

Powell’s leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st.

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The former Secretary of State was a distinguished and trailblazing professional soldier whose career took him from combat duty in Vietnam to becoming 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, CNN reports.

Collin Powell national 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.

He was forced to resign after Bush was reelected in 2004. He also served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

Powell was born in New York City in 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell immigrated to the United States from Jamaica.

He was educated in the New York City public schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology.

In retirement, Powell wrote his autobiography, My American Journey. He pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad.

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