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Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies of Covid complications.

Untold Truth

By Thasleem AhmedPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Tributes are being offered to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has died of Covid-19 complications at 84.

The former senior military officer died on Monday morning, his relatives reported. He was completely vaccinated.

Powell became the first African-American secretary of state in 2001 under Republican President George W Bush.

He also caused criticism for helping gain support for the Iraq War.

"We have lost a magnificent and loving husband, father, grandpa and a great American," the family said in a statement, praising the personnel at the Walter Reed Medical Center "for their compassionate treatment".

Powell had previously been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a kind of blood cancer which may have rendered him more vulnerable to Covid symptoms, according to US media, as well as Parkinson's disease.

President Joe Biden, calling Powell a "close friend", said he had exemplified the "best values of both warrior and diplomat".

Obituary: Colin Powell

Former President Bush was among the first to pay homage to "a wonderful public worker" as well as "a family guy and a friend" who "was such a favourite of presidents that he got the Presidential Medal of Freedom - twice".

Mr Bush's vice-president Dick Cheney hailed Powell as "a man who loved his country and served her long and well" while also being "a pioneer and role model for so many".

Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, stated that Powell "knew what was best in this country, and sought to put his personal life, career, and public remarks in line with that ideal".

Condoleezza Rice, Powell's successor as secretary of state and the first black woman in the post, hailed him "a really magnificent man" whose "devotion to our nation was not confined to the many excellent things he achieved while in duty or during his time spent in Washington".

"Much of his legacy will live on in the uncountable number of young lives he touched."

Current secretary of state Antony Blinken termed Powell's life "a victory of the American Dream".

Powell provided the Department of State "the absolute best of his leadership," Mr Blinken added. "He never ceased believing in America, and we believe in America in no little part because it helped develop someone like Colin Powell."

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair - who worked closely with Powell during the early years of the Iraq War - said he was someone of "immense skill and integrity" who was "a terrific companion, with a charming and self-deprecating sense of humour".

Colin Powell in the army


Image caption,Colin Powell was a soldier for 35 years and reached to the rank of four-star general

Remembrances also flowed in from notable African-American leaders. Civil rights leader Al Sharpton called him "a honest and devoted guy", while members of the Congressional Black Caucus honored his "record of courage and integrity".

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, the first black man to serve in that capacity, praised Powell as "a wonderful personal friend and mentor" who would be "difficult to replace".

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How will black Americans remember Colin Powell?

My father looked up to Colin Powell quite a lot actually. My dad was an army officer and, to him, having a black guy climb to such a high role in the military and subsequently on into appointed office was extremely strong for him. I can't speak to this with 100 percent confidence, but I think that his perspective of him today is a little bit more divided. Isaiah Reeves,25, Tennessee

His effect on my choice [as a Jamaican-American] to join the military was enormous. At the time of his ascension through the military levels, it was unusual for a poor Jamaican-American lad from New York City to achieve what he did in life. When he became Secretary of State, I knew there is no limit to what individuals may achieve, regardless of socio-ethnic background. - Michelle Dunkley, 57, New Jersey

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Once a moderate Republican, Powell became a trusted military adviser to a number of top US leaders.

But he split with his party to back Barack Obama in 2008, as well as Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. A strong opponent of Republican president Donald Trump, Powell claimed he could no longer call himself a Republican following the deadly 6 January brawl at the US Capitol.

He also experienced service and was injured in Vietnam, an event that subsequently helped define his own military and political policies.

However, he would declare publicly that his own legacy had been harmed by a statement to the United Nations Security Council which exploited false intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

"It was painful. It's difficult today," Powell told ABC News in 2005.


About the Creator

Thasleem Ahmed

Entrepreneur life style

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