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U.S. General Colin Powell has passed away due to complications related to COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.
84-year-old Powell was an influential former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He played a critical role following the attacks on 9/11 during the George W. Bush administration.
A statement from his family confirms the cause of death was related to complications from COVID-19, Fox News reports.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the statement reads.
“We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment,” it added.
Born to Jamaican immigrants, Powell is from Harlem, New York and grew up in South Bronx.
He attended Morris High School and later received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the City College of New York. He earned an MBA degree from George Washington University after his second tour in Vietnam.
Powell served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, holding a variety of command and staff positions.
President George H. W. Bush appointed him to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Powell oversaw 28 crises, according to the State Department, including Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
Incoming President George W. Bush nominated Powell for secretary of state in December 2000.
President George W. Bush released a statement on Powell’s passing:
“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell,” he said. “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.”
In 2020, Powell endorsed Joe Biden and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention.
“Today, we are a country divided, and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it that way and keep us that way,” Powell said.
“What a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul,” he added.
More from Fox News:
Powell, the first African-American secretary of state, served in Bush’s Cabinet from 2001-2005, including during the tumultuous years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The State Department described Powell, a Republican, as being “one of the foremost supporters” of taking “swift military action” against al Qaeda. Powell demanded “immediate” cooperation from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. effort to hunt down those responsible for the attacks.
By 2003, when the Bush administration’s focus had expanded to Iraq, Powell pushed for United Nations inspectors to investigate the claims that Saddam Hussein was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. Powell presented intelligence to the U.N. in February 2003 that supported the administration’s claim that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction and had the capabilities of producing more…
In 2004, though, the State Department said some of the intelligence he presented was “found to be erroneous.” Powell, though, according to the State Department, felt military action should not begin “until a large coalition of allies and a long-term occupation plan were in place.” Despite his advice, the administration moved toward preemptive military action against Iraq.
While the majority of his term as secretary of state was focused on Afghanistan and Iraq, the State Department said Powell pursued other areas of U.S. foreign policy—including strengthening bilateral relationships with Russia and China—including his efforts to manage the U.S. withdrawal from the U.S.-Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, and the signing of the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions in May 2002.