• Colin Powell, America's First Black Secretary Of State, Dies Of COVID Complications
(Photo: Reuters-Yonhap)

Colin Powell, America's first Black secretary of state, has died of COVID-19 complications.

He passed Monday morning at the age of 84.

His family said he had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Peggy Cifrino, Powell's longtime aide, said he had also been treated over the past few years for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that impairs the body's ability to fight infection.

U.S. President Joe Biden led tributes to Powell, describing him as a warrior and diplomat who broke racial barriers.

[Clip: Biden]

Thinking about Colin Powell, he's not only a dear friend and a patriot, one of our great military leaders and a man of great decency, but this is the guy born the son of immigrants, in New York City, raised in Harlem and the South Bronx, and he rose to the highest ranks of military, but also in areas of foreign policy and statecraft."

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Powell spent 35 years in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of four-star general before becoming the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 2001 he became secretary of state under George W. Bush's administration, and dealt with the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Powell had said he regretted making the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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