commendation are being given to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has died of Covid-19 issues aged 84.
His family said the former top military officer died on Monday morning.
He advanced and became the first African-American secretary of state in 2001 under Republican President George W Bush.
Powell, who was fully vaccinated, later caused heated discussion for his role in garnering support for the Iraq War.
The family said in a statement,
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” thanking the staff at the Walter Reid Medical Center “for their caring treatment”.
Obituary: Colin Powell
Among the first to pay tribute to “a great public servant” was George W Bush, as well as “a family man and a friend” who
“was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice”.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair – who worked closely with Powell during the early years of the Iraq War – said he was someone of “immense capability and integrity” who was “a great companion, with a lovely and self-deprecating sense of humor”.
Mr Powell, a moderate Republican who left his party to endorse Barack Obama in 2008, became a trusted military adviser to a number of leading US politicians.
He also saw service and was injured in Vietnam, an experience that later helped define his own military and political game plan.
Nevertheless, he would say himself that his own legacy had been damaged by a speech to the United Nations Security Council which used faulty intelligence to back the invasion of Iraq.
“It was painful. It’s painful now,” Mr Powell told ABC News in 2005.
Colin Powell was a very famous American with brilliant achievement. The child of immigrants, who became the first black man to advanced to the highest positions in US military and diplomacy.
Powell was one of the few American public figures In the 1990s, with appeal that crossed political boundaries – reminiscent of General Dwight D Eisenhower after the Second World War.
Not like Eisenhower, Powell would not ascend to the presidency – in spite of the fact that there were abundant calls for him to run.
Those calls ended after the 2003 US seizure of Iraq, a resolution Powell later accepted was a “blot” on his legacy. He had staked his reputation on the presence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction – and his reputation suffered for it.
Towards the end of life, Powell became a different kind of icon. His drift away from the Republican Party sequel Donald Trump’s rise to power showed the dwindling influence of Powell’s moderate, internationalist faction within the American conservative movement.
Powell’s life may be somewhat darkened by his cause of death, as he now ranks as the most prominent American to surrender to Covid-19.