Colin Powell Dies of Covid-19 complications at 84


A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, secretary of state, and national security adviser, Collin Powell died on Monday of complications of Covid-19, his family said.

Colin L. Powell, who served as the nation’s top soldier, diplomat, and national security adviser, and whose speech at the United Nations in 2003 helped pave the way for the United States to go to war in Iraq, breathed his last on Monday. He was 84.

In a statement issued by his family, it was mentioned that he died of complications of Covid-19, adding that he had been vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Mr. Powell died at the same hospital. Mr. Powell had undergone treatment for multiple myeloma, a spokeswoman said.

Mr. Powell served as the country’s first Black national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state. Starting as a young second lieutenant commissioned in the dawn of a newly desegregated Army, Mr. Powell served two decorated combat tours in Vietnam. He later was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War, helping negotiate arms treaties and an era of cooperation with the Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev. As chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he was the architect of the invasion of Panama in 1989 and of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, which ousted Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

When briefing reporters at the Pentagon at the beginning of the gulf war, Mr. Powell succinctly summed up the military’s strategy to defeat Saddam Hussein’s army: “Our strategy in going after this army is very simple,” he said. “First, we’re going to cut it off, and then we’re going to kill it.”

In an interview with The New York Times in 2007, Mr. Powell analyzed himself: “Powell is a problem-solver. He was taught as a soldier to solve problems. So he has views, but he’s not an ideologue. He has passion, but he’s not a fanatic. He’s first and foremost a problem-solver.”