By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Colin Powell, who served as America’s first Black national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State during challenging times, has died, his family says.
Family members said one of the country’s most known diplomats passed away due to “COVID-19 complications” at age 84 though he had been “fully vaccinated.”
His death was due to raise further questions among critics about the effectiveness of experimental COVID-19 jabs amid tensions about White House vaccine mandates.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father and grandfather, and a great American,” the family stressed.
Powell had undergone treatment for multiple myeloma, which compromised his immune system, a spokeswoman said.
He will be remembered as a pathbreaker, beginning with his 35 years in the Army. He was symbolic of the ability of minorities to use the military as a ladder of opportunity.
Born in Harlem of Jamaican parents, Powell grew up in the South Bronx and graduated from City College of New York, and eventually joining the Army.
Starting as a young second lieutenant commissioned in the dawn of a newly desegregated Army, Powell served two decorated combat tours in Vietnam.
He later was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War, helping negotiate arms treaties and an era of cooperation with the Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev.
The four-star general became the first Black Secretary of State in 2001 when he was appointed during President George W. Bush’s first term in office.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent invasion of Iraq in 2003 were two prominent events during Powell’s tenure as Secretary of State.
He made world headlines for a speech to the United Nations warning the world for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a key argument for U.S-led efforts to invade the country and topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.
The alleged weapons were never discovered in Iraq, and Powell later expressed regret over his speech calling it “painful” for him personally and a permanent “blot” on his record.
“I’m the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world,” Powell told Barbara Walters of ABC News network in 2005. He added that the presentation “will always be a part of my record.”
However, former President George W. Bush, who selected General Powell to be his Secretary of State after winning the 2000 presidential election, recalled him as a “great public servant.”
He said in a statement that he and former First Lady Laura Bush were both “deeply saddened” by his passing.“ And, “He was a great public servant starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam,” Bush added.
“Many presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and expertise….he was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice,” Bush wrote.
“He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
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