Politicians, public figures and social media users are sending their condolences today after it was reported that Colin Powell passed away on Monday morning (Oct. 18). According to a statement provided on Facebook by his family, the former U.S. secretary of state died due to complications from COVID-19. He was 84 years old.
On Twitter, Rev. Al Sharpton said he “always respected” Powell and “was proud of his achievements” even though the pair butted heads ideologically.
“My condolences to the family of Colin Powell,” Rev. Sharpton wrote. “Though we disagreed on many issues, I always respected him and was proud of his achievements. When he and I ran into each other and conversed, I always left feeling he was a sincere and committed man to what he believed in. RIP.”
Re. Stacey Plaskett also said Powell was “a towering figure to me.”
“Caribbean American, Native New Yorker, Statesman, Soldier, Diplomat, humble, hardworking, thoughtful, accountable. Loved his family his country,” she continued. “God’s grace to his loved ones. Rest In Peace.”
Powell served as the 65th U.S. secretary of state under Former President George W. Bush, making him the first African American to hold the position. He was also the first Black national security adviser under Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H. W. Bush.
In a statement on Monday, George W. Bush said he and his wife Laura are “are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell.”
“He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. Many presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience,” the former POTUS continued. “He was National Security Advisor under President Reagan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under my father and President Clinton, and Secretary of State during my administration. 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 most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”
As reported by REVOLT, Powell’s family said he was fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, NBC News reports, he was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that inhibits the body’s ability to fight infections.
See reactions to Powell’s passing on Twitter below.