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Vale General Colin Powell (April 5, 1937 – October 18, 2021)

Thanks to Alan RM Jones who writes:

I had the honour to meet Colin Powell in 1991, not long after the Gulf War, when his new fame was not yet at its zenith but was less complicated by Washington’s or his own politics — he drove an old Volvo, after all.

I was impressed by the way he held the attention of a room full of American leaders who hadn’t come down in the last rain shower.

Powell was wounded twice in two Vietnam tours. If his career of service had ended then, the country owed him — though I expect that his evident humility and dedication to duty to his country would never have allowed him to see it that way.


Vale indeed.

A great American.


This biography courtesy Wikipedia.

Colin Luther Powell (April 5, 1937 – October 18, 2021) was an American politician, diplomat, statesman, and four-star general who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African-American Secretary of State.He served as the 16th United States National Security Advisor from 1987 to 1989 and as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

Powell was born in New York City in 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He was educated in the New York City public schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned a bachelor's degree in geology. He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. He was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held many command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star general. He was Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command in 1989.

Powell's last assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including the invasion of Panama in 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1990–1991. He formulated the Powell Doctrine which limits American military action unless it satisfies criteria regarding American national security interests, overwhelming force, and widespread public support. 

He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under Republican President George W. Bush. 

In 1995, Powell wrote his autobiography, My American Journey, and then in retirement another book, It Worked for Me, Lessons in Life and Leadership (2012). He pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of State, Powell was the chairman of America's Promise – The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people. He won numerous U.S. and foreign military awards and decorations. His civilian awards included the Presidential Medal of Freedom (twice), the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools and other institutions were named in his honor, and he held honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country. In 2016, while not a candidate for that year's election, he received three electoral votesfrom Washington for the office of President of the United States.

Powell, who was being treated for blood cancer, died on October 18, 2021.


This is the formal statement from General Powell's family.

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