Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff died on Monday morning, Oct. 18, at the age of 84.
Powell, a retired four-star general, has been fighting against a type of blood cancer, but his family announced in a Facebook post that he passed away “due to complications from Covid 19” though “He was fully vaccinated.”
According to his family’s announcement, Powell had been treated at Walter Reed National Medical Center.
Powell, born in 1937, joined the U.S. Army after graduating from college in 1958. Across his 35-year military career, he served two tours in Vietnam and was stationed in West Germany and South Korea, according to CBS News.
He served in top roles under four presidents, first as national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, then as the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman under President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, and then as secretary of state under President George W. Bush.
Though serving primarily Republican presidents, Powell has drifted away from the GOP in his later years. He endorsed former President Barack Obama in 2008 over Republican nominee Senator John McCain, and again in 2012. He backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 over Donald Trump.
In remembrance of Powell, President Biden on Monday called him “a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity,” ordering flags to be flown at half-mast until Oct. 22.