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Reaction Pours In To The Death Of Gen. Colin Powell

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Reaction is pouring in to the death of Gen. Colin Powell.

Powell passed away Monday at age 84 due to complications from COVID-19.

The New York native was born in Harlem in 1937 and raised in the South Bronx, where an affordable housing building is named for him.

He graduated from City College of New York, where he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps and started his military service. The School for Civic and Global Leadership at CCNY bears Powell's name.

President Joe Biden released the following statement:

Jill and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity, General Colin Powell.  

The son of immigrants, born in New York City, raised in Harlem and the South Bronx, a graduate of the City College of New York, he rose to the highest ranks of the United States military and to advise four presidents. He believed in the promise of America because he lived it. And he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others.

As a Senator, I worked closely with him when he served as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as Secretary of State. Over our many years working together – even in disagreement – Colin was always someone who gave you his best and treated you with respect.

Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat. He was committed to our nation's strength and security above all. Having fought in wars, he understood better than anyone that military might alone was not enough to maintain our peace and prosperity. From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation's policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong. Time and again, he put country before self, before party, before all else—in uniform and out—and it earned him the universal respect of the American people.

Having repeatedly broken racial barriers, blazing a trail for others to follow in Federal Government service, Colin was committed throughout his life to investing in the next generation of leadership. Whether through his care for the women and men serving under his command and the diplomats he led, or through the work he shared with his wife Alma at the America's Promise Alliance to lift up young people, or through his years leading the Eisenhower Fellowships, Colin's leadership always included a focus on future.

Above all, Colin was my friend. Easy to share a laugh with. A trusted confidant in good and hard times. He could drive his Corvette Stingray like nobody's business—something I learned firsthand on the race track when I was Vice President. And I am forever grateful for his support of my candidacy for president and for our shared battle for the soul of the nation. I will miss being able to call on his wisdom in the future.

Jill and I are sending all our love and strength to Alma, their children, Linda, Annemarie, and Michael, their grandchildren, and the entire Powell family.  Our nation mourns with you.

Colin Powell was a good man.

He will be remembered as one of our great Americans.

In a lengthy message, former President Barack Obama remembered Powell as an "exemplary patriot."

"He understood what was best in this country, and tried to bring his own life, career, and public statements in line with that ideal. It's why, for all the battles he fought and problems he solved, Michelle and I will always look to General Powell as an example of what America – and Americans – can and should be if we wish to remain the last, best hope of earth," Obama wrote.

"He was a trailblazer who embodied public service and was driven by honoring American values, not political party," N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul wrote on Twitter.

Hochul ordered flags to fly at half staff at all state buildings in honor of Powell until Oct. 22.

"Secretary of State Colin Powell was a dedicated statesman, soldier and public servant who served our nation with integrity and purpose. Tammy and I are praying for his loved ones," Gov. Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter.

"Colin Powell served our country admirably for decades on the battlefield, in the political arena, and one the world stage. While we disagreed when it came to the war in Iraq, I never once doubted his patriotism and devotion to the United States," wrote Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. "He was a great American who always put his country first, and he will be missed."

"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," said former President George W. Bush.

"The world lost one of the greatest leaders we have ever witnessed. Alma lost a great husband. And I lost a tremendous personal friend & mentor. He has been my mentor for a number of years. He always made time for me," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

"We mourn the passing of [City College] alumnus Colin Powell, who leaves behind an incredible legacy of public service and leadership at [Colin Powell School for Civic & Global Leadership]," the City University of New York posted on Twitter. "In 2015, Colin Powell returned to his alma mater and told the graduating class at @cpowellschool that 'leadership is all about inspiring people, not just motivating them but inspiring people. It's about trust and respect.'"

"Colin was a towering figure in American military and political leadership over many years, someone of immense capability and integrity, a hugely likeable and warm personality and a great companion, with a lovely and self-deprecating sense of humor. He was wonderful to work with, he inspired loyalty and respect and was one of those leaders who always treated those under them with kindness and concern. His life stands as a testament not only to dedicated public service but also a strong belief in willingness to work across partisan division in the interests of his country. I am so sorry to hear the news of his death. He still had so much to give. My thoughts and prayers are Alma and all his large and loving extended family," said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


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