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Gen Colin Powell

Gen Colin Powell




Colin Luther Powell was born on April 5, 1937, in Harlem, New York City, to Jamaican immigrant parents, Luther and Maud Powell. Raised in the South Bronx, Powell attended the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. During his time at CCNY, he joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), where he found his passion for the military, eventually rising to the rank of cadet colonel, the highest rank in the corps.

After graduating from CCNY in 1958, Powell was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served two tours in Vietnam, from 1962 to 1963 and again from 1968 to 1969. During his second tour, he was injured in a helicopter crash, for which he was awarded the Soldier's Medal for bravery in rescuing fellow soldiers from the burning wreckage. His service in Vietnam and subsequent roles highlighted his leadership and dedication, leading to rapid advancement through the military ranks.

In the 1980s, Powell held numerous significant positions, including serving as a senior military assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. In 1987, he became the National Security Advisor under President Ronald Reagan, making him the first African American to hold this position. His tenure was marked by his involvement in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987, which helped reduce Cold War tensions.

Powell’s career reached its pinnacle when he was appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. As the first African American to hold this post, Powell played a crucial role during several key military operations, including the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. His leadership during the Gulf War was particularly noted for the effective use of overwhelming force, which led to a swift and decisive victory, a strategy later known as the "Powell Doctrine."

After retiring from the military in 1993, Powell continued to be an influential figure. He authored his autobiography, "My American Journey," which became a bestseller and provided insights into his life and career. In 2001, Powell was appointed as Secretary of State by President George W. Bush, becoming the first African American to hold this position. During his tenure, he was a key figure in the Bush administration's foreign policy, especially in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and during the lead-up to the Iraq War.

One of the most controversial moments in Powell's career occurred in February 2003 when he presented evidence to the United Nations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This presentation was a pivotal moment in garnering international support for the Iraq invasion, though it was later revealed that much of the intelligence was flawed. Powell's role in this event drew significant criticism, and he later expressed regret over the inaccuracies in his speech.

Powell resigned as Secretary of State in 2004 but remained an active public figure, advocating for various causes including education and military families. He was known for his moderate political views, often crossing party lines to support candidates and policies he believed in. Powell passed away on October 18, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking achievements and service to his country.

Throughout his career, Powell received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Secretary's Distinguished Service Award. His life and career remain a testament to his dedication, leadership, and pioneering spirit in American public service.


Time of Birth: 12:00 am

Place of birth: New York



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Date of Birth: 5th April 1937

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