Colin Powell, a four-star Army general and a former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died on October 18 from coronavirus complications, his family said in a statement.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin addressed reporters on Monday morning following the news of Powell’s death. Austin was in Georgia, where he was meeting with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and US troops stationed in the country.
“It will be impossible to replace Gen Colin Powell,” Austin wrote on Twitter. “He was a tremendous personal friend and mentor to me, and there’s a hole in my heart right now as I think about his loss. My thoughts and prayers today are with his family, and I want them to know I will miss him dearly.”
Powell served with the George W Bush administration and was a key figure in the decision making leading up to the US invasion of Iraq.
Powell was 84 years old. His family said he was fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Credit: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin via Storyful