Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state, dies of COVID-19

Colin Powell dies of Covid
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks during a news conference held after the Mideast Quartet meeting between the US, EU, Russia and the UN at the United Nations headquarters Friday, Sept. 26, 2003. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Colin Powell, a former U.S. Secretary of State under Republican George W. Bush, has died at the age of 84 from “complications from covid-19,” his family announced Monday. “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” they said in a statement. 

Powell was the first African-American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before becoming head of American diplomacy. 
The former secretary of state died at Walter Reed Hospital, on the outskirts of Washington, where U.S. presidents are usually treated.

Colin Powell

Powell put the arguments to justify invasion of Iraq

Defender of the war in Iraq delivered a lengthy speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003 on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) allegedly possessed by Iraq. His arguments were the basis to justify the invasion of that country shortly after. Years later, he admitted that this was a “blemish” on his reputation. 

“It is a stain because I am the one who made that exhibition on behalf of the United States to the world, and it will always be part of my story,” he said.

Born on April 5, 1937 in Harlem, he grew up in New York where he studied geology. He began his military career in 1958. He was first sent to Germany and then to Vietnam as a military adviser to President John F. Kennedy.