Colin PowellThe first African-American to serve as U.S. secretary of state, a four-star U.S. Army general and the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also died Monday from complications of Covid-1, CNN reported. He was 84 years old.
The Bronx, NY, rose in the Native American military to shape foreign U.S. foreign policy in the 1990s, with several presidents serving under it. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton And both George H. W. Bush And George W. Bush, As well as led the effort behind Operation Desert Storm during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
In a post on his Facebook page, Powell’s family said he had been completely vaccinated against the coronavirus. CNN reported that he was suffering from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that weakens the body’s ability to fight infections.
“We would like to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a wonderful and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American, ”the family said in a statement.
Video: Colin Powell – A portrait of a leader
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin The first Monday morning was in mourning the death of her longtime friend and mentor.
Colin Luther Powell, a son of Jamaican immigrants, was born April 5, 1937, and grew up in a working class South Bronx neighborhood. He studied at City College, New York, where he was a major in geology. But his military career began when he joined the RTC there and received Army commission as a second lieutenant after graduating in 1958.
A few years later in Vietnam, he made two tours of duty, first as an adviser to the South Vietnam Army in 1962, when he was wounded. He returned in 1968 as Assistant Chief of Operations of the 23rd Infantry Division. On that trip he survived a helicopter crash and was credited with rescuing three comrades. Returning from Vietnam, he earned an MBA from Georgetown University.
Powell, who became a four-star general, served as a lieutenant general in the U.S. military, became a national security adviser under President Reagan, and also sat on the National Security Council. But his star continued to rise, prompting President George HW Bush to elect him chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first African-American.
Related: Retired General Colin Powell publicly supported Joe Biden at the 2020 DNC
Seat of power
But Powell is best known for his role in decision-making during military operations in the Persian Gulf, when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and US forces invaded Kuwait in an attempt to overthrow Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Bush and the then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney Powell ordered and General Norman Schwarzkopf Launch Operation Desert Storm by forming an alliance with Great Britain, France, Italy, Syria and Italy to liberate Kuwait.
Looking back on that operation, Powell recalled the effort he had to make in an interview with the Military Officers Association website MOAA.org
“In those first days after Iraq invaded Kuwait, we had to understand what we had to do. It was clear that we had a debate within the administration,” he said. “It’s not unreasonable. My position was: Mr. President, what are you ready to do?” Tell us, and we’ll show you how we do it.
However, Powell is also known for his role in the decision to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the weeks following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He was later elected Secretary of State by President George W. Bush. Won the 2000 election, again the first African American to be elected to the position and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
After the attack, the nation was in crisis with many in Congress demanding action in response. There was a growing feeling within the Bush administration to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Powell warned the president that it would be difficult to build a democratic nation, but he went to the United Nations in 200 mass, seeking new weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in search of “weapons of mass destruction.” Inspectors have never found such a weapon, but Congress authorized the use of military force in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, which ultimately led to America’s longest war, ending only this year.
Powell later expressed regret for his part in what was considered a reckless rush into an expensive war for America. In his memoirs It has worked for me, lessons and leadership in life, He said he did not realize at the time that much of the evidence of the alleged weapon was incorrect.
“I’m mostly angry at myself for not smelling the problem,” Powell wrote. “My instincts have failed me.”
Post service life
After leaving the cabinet, Powell devoted much of his energy to the speaker circuit and the foundations of leadership that he was a part of. He and his wife, Alma America, began the commitment, dedicated to supporting and encouraging the leadership of young people at all levels. But at least since the 1990s, his name has emerged as a possible candidate for the presidency.
He supported its campaign Of. John McCain In 2008, and was even mentioned as a potential running mate. However, later that year Powell backed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama During an interview with NBC News Meet the press.
Although he served in the Republican administration and described himself as a “moderate” GOP member, he was highly critical of President Donald Trump, saying the party needed to “stand firm” and stand with the former president. “Right now, Republican leaders and members of Congress – both in the Senate and in the House – are lagging behind because they’re worried about what will happen to them if any of them talk,” he said. In an interview with CNN.
Powell is survived by his wife Alma; His son Michael, Who was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 to 2005; And two daughters, Linda And Ann Mary.
He has twice received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal.