COLIN POWELL: General and Former Secretary of State Dead at 84

Colin Powell, a former military leader who became a towering figure in American politics as the first Black U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning after complications from COVID-19. He was 84.

Powell's family announced his passing in a Facebook post saying, "We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American." They added that he was fully vaccinated but had been struggling with several health problems for years. 

Powell's rise through the ranks of the military led him to decades of service to presidents starting with Ronald Reagan as a national security advisor. From there he served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then Secretary of State under George W. Bush where he served a key role in the administration's response to the 9-11 attacks. Bush said in a statement today, "He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. He was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom - twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend."

Powell is survived by his wife Alma, and their three children.

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