Colin Powellthe first Black U.S. secretary of state, whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape the country's foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21stdied from complications from COVID-19 at age 84, according to CNN.com .
"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.
Powell became the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush. However, his reputation took a hit when he pushed faulty intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he would later call a "blot" on his record.
In 2012, Powell told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he endorsed same-sex marriage, according to Politico. In February 2010, Powell announced that he supported the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was implemented in 1993; in 2010, the then-retired four-star general said he thought of the policy as a compromise that improved the status quo at the time.
Last year, Powell said that then-President Donald Trump should not be re-elected, according to a video on CNN.