Photo: Russell Roederer

General Colin Powell, an author, diplomat, four-star general, and the first Black US Secretary of State died from Covid-19 complications and a battle with cancer. He was 84 years old.

His family announced the news on Facebook Monday morning.

“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. He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”

In addition to having COVID-19, Powell suffered from Parkinson’s disease and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood that caused the suppression of the body’s immune response. According to reports, he had been battling cancer for a few years before his passing.

In 2001, he was sworn in as George Bush’s Secretary of State, making him the first Black American to hold that position and the highest-ranking Black public official at that time.

Bush said in a statement Monday that Powell was “a great public servant” who was “such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”

President Joe Biden wrote, “Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat. He was committed to our nation’s strength and security above all. Having fought in wars, he understood better than anyone that military might alone was not enough to maintain our peace and prosperity.”

Powell author several leadership books that include, Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, It Worked for Me: In Leadership and Life, and My American Journey. He was also awarded two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, and the Congressional Gold Medal.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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