DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — In Texas, former President George W. Bush is remembering the first Black U.S. secretary of state, Colin Powell, who died from complications from COVID-19.

In a Facebook post the Powell family said, “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”

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Powell was fully vaccinated, but was also battling multiple myeloma — a type of blood cancer.

Powell was a distinguished and trailblazing professional soldier whose career took him from combat duty in Vietnam to becoming the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.

On Monday former President George W. Bush released the following statement:

“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell. 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.”

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President George W. Bush (right) meets with his cabinet at the White House, including Secretary of State Colin Powell (left). (credit: Brooks Kraft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Powell’s national popularity soared in the aftermath of the US-led coalition victory during the Gulf War, and for a time in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first Black President of the United States. But his reputation would be forever stained when, as George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, he pushed faulty intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he would later call a “blot” on his record.

Though he never mounted a White House bid, when Powell was sworn in as Bush’s secretary of state in 2001, he became the highest-ranking Black public official to date in the country, standing fourth in the presidential line of succession.

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CBSDFW.com Staff