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.
Joe Biden has been officially crowned as the Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s convention.
He was endorsed by two Democratic former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican.
Bill Clinton said President Donald Trump had brought “chaos” to the Oval Office.
President Trump trails Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of November’s election.
Joe Biden, the former vice-president under President Barack Obama, became the Democratic Party’s nominee on Tuesday night in a pre-recorded roll call vote from delegates in all 50 states.
This is Joe Biden’s third White House bid, having formerly run in 1988 and 2008. The 77-year-old’s campaign appeared to be in danger of collapse back in February this year.
On the second night of the party convention on August 18, with the theme “leadership matters,” Bill Clinton delivered the key address.
“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world,” Bill Clinton said in his five-minute message pre-recorded from his home in Chappaqua, New York.
“Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos.”
Following addresses from former First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders on August 17, the next day’s speeches aimed to persuade voters the Democratic party is the best suited to repair problems at home and abroad.
Colin Powell said Joe Biden shared “the values I learned growing up in the south Bronx and serving in uniform”.
The decorated four-star general said he supported him for president because “we need to restore those values to the White House”.
In June, Colin Powell – who served under President George W Bush and has appeared at multiple Republican conventions in previous years – called President Trump a liar and endorsed Joe Biden.
Colin Powell joins several Republicans who have endorsed Joe Biden, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich during the first night of the convention.
Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican Senator John McCain, also spoke about the friendship between her late husband and Joe Biden, though she stopped short of a formal endorsement.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the convention virtually to assail President Trump’s leadership.
He said: “When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a goodwill mission, it’s a blooper reel.
“He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at.”
The freshly minted Democratic nominee’s wife, Jill Biden, potentially the next first lady, delivered the night’s headline address, standing in an empty classroom at the Delaware high school where she taught English in the 1990s.
Urging everyone to vote for her husband, who joined her, Jill Biden said: “The burdens we carry are heavy, and we need someone with strong shoulders.
“I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole.”
The DNC is largely virtual, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it is unclear whether a format of pre-recorded speeches and no live audience will generate the same levels of enthusiasm as the traditional party gatherings. Next week’s Republican convention will also be mostly online.
The opening night drew 28% fewer viewers than in 2016, according to ratings from Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. Democrats said an additional 10 million watched online, which if confirmed would put its audience at slightly above levels that year.
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has admitted to exchanging “very personal” emails with Romanian politician Corina Cretu but denies having an affair with the much younger woman after a hacker threatened to release their intimate messages.
Colin Powell, 76, now a retired general told the Smoking Gunthat he met Corina Cretu, 46, roughly 10 years ago when she was working as an assistant to Romania’s President Ion Iliescu. She is now a member of the European Parliament.
“After I left the Department of State in January 2005 we stayed in touch via email,” Colin Powell told TSG.
“Over time the emails became of a very personal nature, but did not result in an affair. Those type of emails ended a few years ago. There was no affair then and there is not one now.”
In response to questions about multiple photos included in some of the emails, Colin Powell said: “She sent photos on a regular basis. Lots of family photos with her nieces, who she adores, family reunions, formal business sessions, her wedding and some bathing suit photos … Never anything improper.”
Colin Powell has been married for 50 years to his wife, Alma, and Corina Cretu was married last year.
He was forced to address his relationship with Corina Cretu on Thursday after the notorious hacker “Guccifer” posted a link to a Google document on Colin Powell’s Facebook wall that contained some of the emails. The post was promptly removed from his wall.
In the emails, “Cretu calls [Colin Powell] the love of her life and describes a relationship that spanned more than a decade,” according to TSG.
Colin Powell denies affair with Corina Cretu after hacker leaks very personal emails
“The 2010-2011 e-mails would leave most readers with the clear impression that the forlorn Cretu is writing about the twilight of a romance.”
Colin Powell spokeswoman Peggy Cifrino confirmed The Smoking Gun’s report.
“Yes, the article accurately reflects the situation and that is General Powell’s statement,” Peggy Cifrino said in an email to Politico.
Months ago, Guccifer successfully accessed email accounts belonging to Colin Powell and a number of other high-ranking officials, including former President George W. Bush and his family.
The emails between Colin Powell and Corina Cretu were not released at the time.
Colin Powell said he asked Corina Cretu earlier this week – after the link to the emails was posted – to delete all the messages between them. That email was also accessed by the hacker and posted online.
He explained to the Smoking Gun: “In light of what was happening it seems obvious to ask Ms. Cretu to delete emails.”
Colin Powell said the two “remain friends and are in touch”, but have only seen each other “once or twice” over the past eight years at “group conferences” in Washington, D.C.
“I am pleased that she is having a successful career,” Colin Powell said.
“I am pleased that she is recently and happily married.”
Corina Cretu was elected to the European Parliament in 2009. She is the vice-chair of Parliament’s Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, which traveled to Washington in July 2011 for a conference.
She posted a blog about the conference and included a photo of herself and Colin Powell.
“Commander of U.S. troops in the first Gulf War and Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, General Colin Powell is one of the most avid observers of global developments and also an old and good friend of Romania,” Corina Cretu wrote, according to an English translation of her blog, which was written in Romanian.
“I had, along with colleagues from Socialist MEP delegation, a very interesting discussion, focusing particularly on transatlantic cooperation in the current geopolitical framework.”
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