COLIN POWELL DEATH

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies of Covid complications

Colin Powell -- seen at a 1993 press conference in Baghdad -- retired from the military as a four-star general and later became the first Black secretary of state in American history
Colin Powell -- seen at a 1993 press conference in Baghdad -- retired from the military as a four-star general and later became the first Black secretary of state in American history RENAUD GIROUX AFP/File

Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents in war and peace but whose sterling reputation suffered when he went before the United Nations and made faulty claims to justify the U.S. war in Iraq, has died of Covid-19 complications at the age of 84.

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Colin Powell leaves behind a mixed legacy of being both a trailblazer and a fall guy.

In 1989 Powell became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, taking on a role that saw him oversee the U.S. invasion of Panama and later the U.S. invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991.

However his reputation suffered a painful setback when, in 2003, Powell went before the U.N. Security Council and made the case for U.S. war against Iraq.

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

Ex-president Bush "deeply saddened"

In an announcement on social media, the Powell's family said he had been fully vaccinated, adding “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father and grandfather and a great American.”

Former President George W. Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were “deeply saddened” by Powell's death.

“He was a great public servant” and “widely respected at home and abroad,” 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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