Colin Powell dead after complications from Covid-19

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In this Monday, Sept. 17, 2001 file photo, Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, discussing the diplomatic aspects of the previous week’s terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Hillery Smith Garrison, File)

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state, has died from complications from Covid-19, his family said on Facebook. He was 84.

“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,” the Powell family wrote on Facebook.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” they said, noting he was fully vaccinated.

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; 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.

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