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Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under the administration of George W. Bush and headed his first Gulf War as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has died at the age of 84 from complications caused by COVID-19. His family confirmed.
Powell was one of the only African Americans to serve in these senior positions passed away early on Monday morning. His longtime aide, Peggy Cifrino, told The New York Times that he was recently treated for multiple myeloma. This is which is a blood cancer that has the potential to affect the body's immune system. The family stated that "he was fully vaccinated."
"We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment," the family posted on a Facebook post. "We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American."
It's unclear what the condition of Powell's multiple myeloma and his immune system at the moment of his death or if cancer may have rendered the patient more susceptible to COVID-19, despite vaccination. Studies have found that people with multiple myeloma have a greater risk for serious COVID-19.
In a White House statement, President Biden stated that Powell "believed in the promise of America because he lived it. And he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others."
Biden declared that Powell "embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat."
"From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation's policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong," the president stated. "Time and again, he put country before self, before party, before all else -- in uniform and out -- and it earned him the universal respect of the American people."

The Army was able to help Powell discover his path.​

Powell was his father was a Jamaican immigrant who was born in Harlem and was raised in a middle-class family located in the South Bronx. In the Army, Powell discovered the culture in which the Black man could pursue his way -- where race, ethnicity, or income level did not determine you, according to Powell in 2012.
"People have asked me, 'What would you have done if you hadn't gone into the Army?' I'd say, 'I'd probably be a bus driver, I don't know,'" Powell told Powell.
As an aspiring younger Army soldier, he worked as an advisor to South Vietnam in the early 1960s. In his first stint in the country, he believed that the U.S. was in Southeast Asia "to save the world from communism," he said to C-SPAN in 1995.
However, after his second tour in 1968, during which Vietnam was at its peak, and the U.S. was at the highest point of its military presence in Vietnam, He had lost the optimism he had shown in his first tour.
"We weren't sure how we were going to get out of this war, and we weren't sure that we were prepared to make the investment that would be required to either win or get out with honor," he stated.

Vietnam has always been a constant influence on its foreign policy approach.​

He would recall the lessons from Vietnam while advancing through the ranks to eventually become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the then-President George H.W. Bush.
Powell was brought into the spotlight in the first Gulf War when he advocated for a massive military intervention to defeat Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army that had taken over Kuwait. His strategy in the war became known by the "Powell doctrine. "Powell doctrine."
He was for many years among the top and most appreciated Americans. When he retired from the Army, Powell wrote his memoir and was later chosen by President George W. Bush to be Secretary of State. Bush said of Powell as a "tower of strength and common sense."
In a postmortem statement following Powell's death, Bush declared him "a great public servant," appreciated by presidents, in the White House, and "highly respected at home and abroad."
"And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend," he declared.
Powell's defense of the 2003 attack on Iraq and his work to the United Nations of evidence of weapons of mass destruction -- which did not exist -- provoked wide-ranging criticism and created his reputation in jeopardy.
"It wasn't just me making the case; everybody was making the case," the host said Steve Inskeep in an interview in the year 2011. "Even though my presentation, in many ways, was flawed -- there was a lot of correct analysis in that presentation -- it was based on a national intelligence estimate that the Congress had asked for and the CIA had provided, which is even more categorical than my subsequent presentation as to the existence of weapons of mass destruction."
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark said Powell "always felt bad" about the U.N. testimony to the previous Monday.
Clark stated that Powell "was a soldier at heart" and "had a magic with people."
Powell did not support the idea of a military invasion of Iraq. He did, however, not seem to see his way with vice-president Dick Cheney or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. At a meeting in 2002, Powell warned Bush of the consequences of an invasion: "You break it, you're going to own it," Powell stated.
In his memoir from 2011, Cheney said Powell did not always provide a complete account of Bush. Powell was critical of Cheney's criticism by calling his remarks "cheap shot. "
However, Cheney released a statement on Monday, stating that Cheney is "deeply saddened to learn that America has lost a leader and statesman."
"General Powell had a remarkably distinguished career, and I was fortunate to work with him," Cheney stated. "He was a man who loved his country and served her long and well."

He became disenchanted with Trump's GOP during the presidency of Donald Trump.​

While moderate in comparison to the norms of today, Powell was a nearly lifetime Republican and served three GOP presidents. He has also been the national security advisor of Ronald Reagan.
In 2008, he announced his support for the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain, citing his worries about the direction taken by his Republican Party at the time.
The year was 2016, and he declared that he wouldn't vote for Donald Trump and later called out the 45th president. "We have a Constitution. We have to follow that Constitution. And the president's drifted away from it," Powell declared in 2020 following Trump warned of using violence to repress Black Lives, Matter protesters.
In the race for 2020, Powell said he would choose Joe Biden; however, it wasn't until the Jan. 6 protest on the U.S. Capitol that the former secretary of state finally broke his ties to the GOP.
"I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican," he said to the 's Fareed Zakaria. "I'm not a fellow of anything right now. I'm just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat throughout my entire career."
"Right now, I'm just watching my country, and not concerned about parties," he added.