From CNN’s Jasmine Wright
Vice President Kamala Harris mourned the loss of Colin Powell Monday, describing him as a “barrier breaker” who inspired many in the military and beyond.
“As National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, he was an independent thinker and a barrier breaker who inspired leaders in our military and throughout our nation,” Harris said in a statement.
Harris described her last moments with Powell, saying, “I last saw and spoke with Secretary Powell in July, at a dinner honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel. I was reminded then how he always showed the world the best of who we are. He upheld the highest standards, representing our nation with dignity, grace, and strength.”
She added, “The legacy that he leaves behind – on America’s national security and on the leaders he mentored – can be seen every day across our nation and the world. “
Read her full statement below:
“Secretary Colin Powell dedicated his life to defending our nation. As National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, he was an independent thinker and a barrier breaker who inspired leaders in our military and throughout our nation.
Secretary Powell served our nation with courage, unwavering in his belief in its principles and its promise. The son of immigrants, Secretary Powell rose through the ranks of the United States Army. He was a decorated veteran and a devoted patriot.
I last saw and spoke with Secretary Powell in July, at a dinner honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel. I was reminded then how he always showed the world the best of who we are. He upheld the highest standards, representing our nation with dignity, grace, and strength.
The legacy that he leaves behind – on America’s national security and on the leaders he mentored – can be seen every day across our nation and the world.
Douglas and I send our deepest condolences to Secretary Powell’s wife, Alma Powell, and their children and grandchildren.”
19 min ago
Biden orders flags at the White House to half-staff in honor of Colin Powell
From CNN’s Jason Hoffman
President Biden issued a proclamation ordering the flags at the White House and other federal buildings to half-staff until sunset on Friday in honor of the life and service of Colin Powell.
“He led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong. He repeatedly broke racial barriers, blazing a trail for others to follow, and was committed throughout his life to investing in the next generation of leadership. Colin Powell was a good man who I was proud to call my friend, and he will be remembered in history as one of our great Americans,” the proclamation reads in part.
27 min ago
State Department flags at half-staff in honor of Powell
From CNN’s Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood
The American flag in front of the State Department has been lowered to half-staff to honor the life of Colin Powell, former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a senior State Department official.
The flag with the State Department seal also in front of the department has been lowered.
25 min ago
Obama: “Powell helped a generation of young people set their sights higher”
Former President Obama praised the leadership and character of Colin Powell, highlighting the ways the first Black secretary of state helped inspire current and future generations.
“General Powell helped a generation of young people set their sights higher. He never denied the role that race played in his own life and in our society more broadly. But he also refused to accept that race would limit his dreams, and through his steady and principled leadership, helped pave the way for so many who would follow,” Obama said.
“It was the way Colin Powell saw the world – not as a starry-eyed idealist, but as someone with deep and abiding faith in this country and what it stands for – that made him such a central figure,” he continued.
The former President outlined some specific traits that he believed made Powell a great leader.
“Everyone who worked with General Powell appreciated his clarity of thought, insistence on seeing all sides, and ability to execute. And although he’d be the first to acknowledge that he didn’t get every call right, his actions reflected what he believed was best for America and the people he served,” Obama wrote.
Obama also used the opportunity to thank Powell for endorsing his 2008 candidacy. That move was seen as a significant boost for Obama’s candidacy due to Powell’s widespread popular appeal and stature as one of the most prominent and successful Black Americans in public life.
“On a personal level, I was deeply appreciative that someone like General Powell, who had been associated with Republican administrations in the past, was willing to endorse me in 2008. But what impressed me even more was how he did it,” he said.
“At a time when conspiracy theories were swirling, with some questioning my faith, General Powell took the opportunity to get to the heart of the matter in a way only he could,” he continued.
38 min ago
Bill and Hillary Clinton: Colin Powell “spent a lifetime working to help our country”
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their condolences to the family of Colin Powell, whom they described in a statement as a “good and decent man.”
“He lived the promise of America, and spent a lifetime working to help our country, especially our young people, live up to its own ideals and noblest aspirations at home and around the world,” they said in the statement.
Read the Clintons’ full statement:
“Colin Powell was a courageous soldier, a skilled commander, a dedicated diplomat, and a good and decent man. The son of immigrants, he rose to the top levels of military, civilian, and non-governmental service through intelligence, character, and the ability to see the big picture and attend to the smallest details. He lived the promise of America, and spent a lifetime working to help our country, especially our young people, live up to its own ideals and noblest aspirations at home and around the world.
Hillary and I send our condolences to Alma, Michael, Linda, Annemarie, the entire Powell family, and all the people whose lives he touched through his service and example.”
55 min ago
Powell had Parkinson’s in addition to cancer, his longtime chief of staff says
From CNN’s Jamie Gangel
Peggy Cifrino, Colin Powell’s longtime chief of staff, confirms to CNN that “in addition to multiple myeloma, Colin Powell also had Parkinson’s which put him at high risk with an immuno compromised system.”
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune response.
Cifrino also confirmed that Powell was vaccinated early on with the Pfizer vaccine and had his second shot in February.
She said he was scheduled to get his booster shot this past week, but that was when he fell ill so he wasn’t able to receive it.
Remember: For fully vaccinated Americans, the risk of being hospitalized or dying from Covid-19 is low – much lower than the risk for unvaccinated people. But in those rare cases when a fully vaccinated person gets infected, data suggests it is older adults and those with multiple underlying medical conditions who are most at risk of serious illness.
1 hr 13 min ago
Powell’s former chief of staff: He was someone “who cared about America more than life itself”
From CNN’s Maureen Chowdhury
Retired Army Col. Bill Smullen, who served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, remembered the life and legacy of his friend, calling Powell “a public servant through and through.”
Smullen told CNN’s John King that Powell would want to be remembered as someone with, “Character, competence, integrity. Someone who you could believe in. Someone who loved his country and was a public servant through and through. It was part of his DNA and he would want to be remembered as someone who cared about America more than life itself, and God love him. We’re going to miss him terribly, terribly, terribly.”
Watch a part of the interview:
42 min ago
UN secretary general sends condolences to Powell’s family
From CNN’s Richard Roth
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres sent his “heartfelt condolences” to Colin Powell’s family and “all the people of the United States,” in a statement released by the UN on Monday.
Guterres said he was saddened to learn of Powell’s death and praised his “distinguished career.”
His statement was read by his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric at the UN daily briefing.
Read the full statement below:
In answer to questions I received this morning, I can tell you that the Secretary-General is saddened by the passing of Colin Powell, the former United States Secretary of State.
Mr. Powell, the first African-American Secretary of State, had a distinguished career, both in defense and foreign policy.
The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the Government and the people of the United States.
1 hr 21 min ago
Pelosi on Powell: “His leadership strengthened America and his life embodied the American Dream”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi honored the life and leadership of Colin Powell, calling him “a patriot” who also blazed a “trail for generations to come.”
“Today, the nation has lost an historic leader who dedicated his life to defending our nation and our families. General Colin Powell was a patriot: serving our country in uniform, leading at the highest levels of American government and blazing a trail for generations to come. His leadership strengthened America and his life embodied the American Dream,” the Democratic leader said in a statement.
Pelosi also used a part of her statement to address the Covid-19 complications that Powell’s family said caused his death.
“The sad loss of Colin Powell is another sad indication of the devastating toll that the coronavirus continues to take on our country. As we pray for the General Powell’s loved ones, we pray for the families of the nearly 725,000 Americans who have been taken from us by this vicious virus,” she said.
Powell died from complications from Covid-19, his family said on Facebook. A source familiar with the matter said Powell had multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune response. Even if fully vaccinated against Covid-19, those who are immunocompromised are at greater risk from the virus.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.