WASHINGTON DC – General Colin Powell, the first African-American Secretary of State, died today, October 18, due to complications from the coronavirus.
“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. The family said he was fully vaccinated.
Powell had multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune response, as well as Parkinson’s, Peggy Cifrino, Powell’s longtime chief of staff, confirmed to CNN.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Powell became the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state in 1989. He served both Democratic and Republican presidents during times of both war and peace. In his role, he oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama and later the U.S. invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991.
Powell was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump in recent years, describing the former president as “a national disgrace” who should have been impeached.
After Trump supporters rioted and stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of this year, Powell said he no longer considered himself a Republican.
The President and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered the United States flag and the Commonwealth flag shall be flown at half-staff at all state buildings beginning immediately until sunset on Friday, October 22, 2021.
This gubernatorial order applies to:
1. The main or administration building of each public institution of the Commonwealth, e.g. town and city halls.
2. Other state-owned or state-controlled buildings.
3. All state military installations.