Colin Powell, 1st Black U.S. secretary of state, dies from COVID-19 complications

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — General Colin Powell has died from COVID-19 complications on Monday, his family announced.

The 84-year-old former U.S. secretary of state made history by becoming the first African American to hold the position. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and served from 2001 to 2005.

“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,” his family said in a statement.

America’s Promise Alliance Founding Chair Gen. Colin Powell and Chair Alma Powell take the stage at third annual Promise Night Gala to commemorate 20th Anniversary on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in New York. Learn more at www.Recommit2Kids.org. (Amy Sussman/AP Images for America’s Promise Alliance)

His family said the general was fully vaccinated.

President George W. Bush shared a statement on his death, saying Powell was a family man and a friend.

“Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience,” Bush’s statement partially read. “He was such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice.”

The general was also President Ronald Reagan’s deputy national security advisor in 1987 then national security advisor from 1988 until 1989, according to the U.S. State Department. He also served as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under President George H.W. Bush.

Powell is also known for pushing incorrect intelligence that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, helping launch the U.S. into the Iraq war.

After stepping down as secretary of state, the state department said Powell continued his efforts with his organization America’s Promise, helping at-risk children.

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