Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Statement on the Passing of General Colin Powell

October 18, 2021
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. issued the following statement today regarding the passing of four-star General Colin Powell.  General Powell died today from complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was a powerful American leader who earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service to the country in a variety of roles.  He was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, the country’s first Black National Security Advisor, the nation’s youngest and first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black Secretary of State in American history.    

“This is a terrible loss for our country.  My thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of General Colin Powell.  He was an American icon, trailblazer, and role model for African Americans when he became the country’s first African American Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He was a gifted leader who led coalition forces to victory in the first Gulf War under President George H.W. Bush.  General Powell was a true hero to me and a man who transcended politics.  While he worked in both Bush Administrations, he was a strong supporter of former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden.  I thought General Powell would have been an outstanding president.  We have lost a great American warrior and diplomat today.”