Secretary of State Colin Powell has died of Covid-19 complications at the age of 84.
The former top military officer died on October 18, his family said. He was fully vaccinated.
Colin Powell became the first African-American secretary of state in 2001 under Republican President George W Bush.
He also sparked controversy for helping garner support for the Iraq War.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said in a statement, thanking the staff at the Walter Reid Medical Center “for their caring treatment”.
Colin Powell had previously been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer which may have made him more susceptible to Covid-19 symptoms, according to media, as well as Parkinson’s disease.
President Joe Biden, calling Colin Powell a “dear friend”, said he had embodied the “highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat”.
Former President George W. Bush was among the first to pay tribute to “a great public servant” 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”.
President Bush’s vice-president Dick Cheney saluted Colin Powell as “a man who loved his country and served her long and well” while also being “a trailblazer and role model for so many”.
Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell’s successor as secretary of state and the first black woman in the role, called him “a truly great man” whose “devotion to our nation was not limited to the many great things he did while in uniform or during his time spent in Washington”.
“Much of his legacy will live on in the countless number of young lives he touched.”
Current secretary of state Antony Blinken called Colin Powell’s life “a victory of the American Dream”.
Remembrances also poured in from prominent African-American leaders. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton called him “a sincere and committed man”, while members of the Congressional Black Caucus praised his “legacy of valor and integrity”.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the first black man to serve in that role, hailed Colin Powell as “a tremendous personal friend and mentor” who would be “impossible to replace”.
Once a moderate Republican, Colin Powell became a trusted military adviser to a number of leading politicians.
However, he broke with his party to endorse Barack Obama in 2008, as well as Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. A sharp critic of Republican president Donald Trump, Powell said he could no longer call himself a Republican after the violent January 6 riot at the US Capitol.