RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, has died at the age of 84.
His family posted to Facebook saying he died of COVID-19 complications early Monday. He was fully vaccinated.
“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,” the post said.
Powell was admitted to the hospital Oct. 11.
Powell is survived by his wife, Alma Vivian Powell and three children.
Powell had battled other ailments, including Parkinson’s. His wife had contracted COVID but responded to treatments.
Former President George W. Bush released a statement following Powell’s passing that said he and Laura were deeply saddened by the general’s death.
“He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience,” the statement said.
“Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
A former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell was confirmed unanimously as secretary of state 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, Saddam 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 Capitol.
This story will be updated.