WASHINGTON, USA – The following are statements from President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
President Joe Biden
Jill and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity, General Colin Powell.
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.
As a Senator, I worked closely with him when he served as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as Secretary of State. Over our many years working together – even in disagreement – Colin was always someone who gave you his best and treated you with respect.
Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat. He was committed to our nation’s strength and security above all. Having fought in wars, he understood better than anyone that military might alone was not enough to maintain our peace and prosperity. From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation’s policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong. Time and again, he put country before self, before party, before all else—in uniform and out—and it earned him the universal respect of the American people.
Having repeatedly broken racial barriers, blazing a trail for others to follow in Federal Government service, Colin was committed throughout his life to investing in the next generation of leadership. Whether through his care for the women and men serving under his command and the diplomats he led, or through the work he shared with his wife Alma at the America’s Promise Alliance to lift up young people, or through his years leading the Eisenhower Fellowships, Colin’s leadership always included a focus on future.
Above all, Colin was my friend. Easy to share a laugh with. A trusted confidant in good and hard times. He could drive his Corvette Stingray like nobody’s business—something I learned firsthand on the race track when I was Vice President. And I am forever grateful for his support of my candidacy for president and for our shared battle for the soul of the nation. I will miss being able to call on his wisdom in the future.
Jill and I are sending all our love and strength to Alma, their children, Linda, Annemarie, and Michael, their grandchildren, and the entire Powell family. Our nation mourns with you.
Colin Powell was a good man.
He will be remembered as one of our great Americans.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the death of four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
“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 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.
“May it be a comfort to Alma and the entire Powell family that so many in America mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.”
Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the death of Secretary Colin Powell:
“I am extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Secretary Colin Powell, who was a remarkable public servant and respected foreign policy leader. A New York native of immigrant parents, Secretary Powell never forgot who he was or where he came from. He was the first African American to serve as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Secretary of State. His life was an inspiration to many.
“His contributions to our nation and his modernization efforts at the State Department will impact generations to come. My prayers are with Secretary Powell’s family and loved ones at this time.”