Colin Powell, the former top American general and the first Black secretary of state, died on Monday from COVID complications.
In a statement posted to Facebook, his family said, "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."
Powell was the one most notable Black figures in Washington for decades. A Vietnam vet, he rose to become aN ARMY four-star general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush during the 1991 Gulf War.
In 1996 he considered running for president, but was dissuaded by his wife who worried for his safety.
He later served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush. It was in that capacity that he famously stood before the United Nations and made the case for invading Iraq based on the claim that Saddam Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction.
The evidence proved wrong. No weapons were found. Powell later admitted that his presentation was rife with inaccuracies provided by others in the Bush administration. He called a "blot" that would always be a part" of his record.
Powell was known as a moderate Republican and pragmatist. He broke with the GOP to endorse Barack Obama's candidacy and would criticize his party's shift toward anti-immigrant and isolationist policies.
The Powell family says he was fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Colin Powell was 84 years old.