Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, has died on Monday, reportedly from complications from COVID 19. He was 84 years old.
The conservative native of New York City was the first black Secretary of State in US history, serving under the Reagan administration and both Bush administrations.
"We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment," his family said a statement on his passing, according to Deadline.
"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American."
Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush issued a statement on the nation's loss, saying: "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell. He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a solider during Vietnam. Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience."
"He was such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And more important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man."
Powell was, throughout most of his life, a self-described "moderate" Republican and a "pragmatist." Since 2008, however, he shifted allegiances, switching over to the Democratic party and endorsing Barack Obama for President at that time. He would go on to support Democratic candidates for the rest of his life.
Powell was a decorated four-star general, and served as a top adviser to Ronald Reagan starting in 1988. In 1989 he was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, then Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005.
It was also thought that he would run for president against Bill Clinton in 1996, although that was a path he chose not to walk.
Details such as when he contracted the disease, or what underlying health conditions he may have had, have been withheld from the public at this time.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.