Colin Powell, former secretary of state, dies of COVID-19 complications

Former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, died Monday morning due to complications from COVID-19, his family said in a statement.

"He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment," the family said. "We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American."

Peggy Cifrino, Colin Powell's longtime spokesperson, confirmed to ABC News that Powell was successfully being treated for a few years for multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood cells, that compromises the immune system. She also confirmed that Powell was scheduled to soon receive his third COVID booster shot and that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Colin Powell and Russian General

Photo: Getty Images

Powell served under four presidents -- Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- at the very top of the national security establishment, first as deputy national security adviser and then as national security adviser. Finally, he was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior ranking member of the U.S. armed forces and top military adviser to the president.

He was the first African American ever to hold that post and the first Black secretary of state.

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