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WASHIINGTON — Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He was 84.

According to Powell’s family, he was fully vaccinated and was receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Medical Center.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family wrote in the statement.

Full statement:

“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19. He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”


Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later as secretary of state, for which he was unanimously confirmed in 2001.

He would go on to make a persuasive case before the United Nations for military action against Iraq, claiming that Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction. The war was waged, Hussein was toppled and killed, Iraq was destabilized, but no such weapons were found.

Powell consistently defended his support of the Iraq War. But the lifelong Republican had little use for Trump, endorsing Hillary Clinton in 2016 and speaking in support of Biden at the 2020 Democratic convention. He left the Republican Party after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.