Michigan officials react to the passing of Colin Powell

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In this image from video made available before the start of the convention, former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—The Former Secretary of State Colin Powell passed away due to COVID-19 complications according to a Facebook statement from his family.


84-year-old Powell was the first African American to serve as the Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff. During his time in that position, he oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama, the U.S. invasion of Kuwait, and the U.S. Army in Iraq in 1991.

Powell was also a National Security Advisor, and later on in his career became the U.S. Secretary of State and Joint Cheifs of Staff.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrest issued statements about Powell’s passing.

“Colin Powell was a statesman who served his country in uniform and at the highest levels of government for decades,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As a soldier, he was deployed in the Vietnam War and went on to hold various national security and diplomacy roles under four presidents: Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. Secretary Powell embodied values we all strive to live by fidelity, independence, and humility. My thoughts are with his family and all those who looked up to him as a soldier, a leader, and an American.” 

“As a soldier, cabinet secretary, and public servant, Secretary Powell led a lifetime of distinguished service to his country,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “He was our first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. For so many, he was a symbol of the heights to which anyone can rise in America. In the example of his leadership and devotion to public service, he will continue to inspire future generations.” 

Senator Debbie Stabenow also mentioned how his death deeply affected her.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Colin Powell,” Stabenow said. “Who broke barriers over and over again during a lifetime of public service. He was a man of strong principles and always put his country first. My prayers are with his family and friends.”

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