President Joe Biden has requested that the flags outside the White House be flown at half-staff in honor of the nation's first Black Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Powell passed away over the weekend due to COVID-19 complications and his family shared the news via Facebook early Monday morning.
"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American," Powell's family wrote in a statement obtained by CNN.
As previously mentioned, Powell is best known as the first Black man to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State. Under the direction of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Powell also worked as a national security adviser and the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. Through his work, Biden said Powell "embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat,”
“General Colin Powell was a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity. The son of immigrants, born in New York City, raised in Harlem and the South Bronx, a graduate of the City College of New York, he rose to the highest ranks of the United States military and to advise four Presidents. He believed in the promise of America because he lived it. And he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others," Biden said in a proclamation that was issued on Monday afternoon.
“General Powell was an exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot. 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," former President Barack Obama added in a separate statement.
Details regarding a memorial service for Powell have not been shared.