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George W. Bush ‘deeply saddened’ by Colin Powell’s death: ‘A great public servant’

Former President George W. Bush shared a statement about the "great public servant" who served as a groundbreaking secretary of state during his administration.

Former President George W. Bush remembered his former Secretary of State Colin Powell as a "highly respected" family man and friend after learning of Powell's death.

Powell died at 84 Monday of complications from COVID-19, his family said in a statement on Facebook.

The four-star general became the first Black Secretary of State in 2001 when he was appointed during Bush's first term in office.

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell," Bush said in a statement on Monday. "He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. 

Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience. He was National Security Adviser under President Reagan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under my father and President Clinton, and Secretary of State during my Administration. 

"He was such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad.  And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were two prominent events during Powell's tenure as Secretary of State.

Powell had been fully vaccinated from COVID-19 and was being treated at Walter Reed National Medical Center at the time of his death, his family said in its statement.