18 October 2021

Colin Powell, general who became US secretary of state, dies with Covid-19

18 October 2021

Colin Powell the former US joint chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from Covid-19 complications, his family said.

In an announcement on social media, the family said Mr Powell, who was 84, had been fully vaccinated.

Then prime minister Tony Blair (left) greeting then US secretary of state Colin Powell (Sean Dempsey/PA) (PA Wire)

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

Mr Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and secretary of state.

His reputation also suffered a painful setback when, in 2003, Mr Powell went before the UN Security Council and made the case for the war against Iraq.

Colin Powell and Trevor Nelson on stage at the Africa Rising Festival (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

He cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq’s claims that it had not represented “a web of lies”, he told the world body.

Former US president George W. Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were “deeply saddened” by Mr Powell’s death.

President George W. Bush takes part in round table discussion on HIV/Aids with Tony Blair, Hilary Benn and Colin Powell (Archive/PA) (PA Archive)

“He was a great public servant” and “widely respected at home and abroad,” Mr Bush said.

“And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.

“Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”

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