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Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, died of complications from COVID-19 on Monday.

The big picture: In addition to serving as secretary of state from 2001-05, he also was the first Black security adviser to a president when he served for President Reagan and was the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President George H.W. Bush.

  • Powell was fully vaccinated but had undergone treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that can weaken the immune system, a spokesperson said.
In photos:
Colin Powell, then-national security adviser, addresses the press at the Rose Garden with outgoing Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, President Ronald Reagan and incoming Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci in November of 1987. Powell was the first Black person to serve as national security adviser. Photo: Diana Walker/Getty Images
Powell, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed reporters at the Pentagon in December of 1989, as then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney looks on. The briefing was about the military operation to remove Panama's General Manuel Antonio Noriega from power. Photo: Bob Pearson/AFP via Getty Images
Powell, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on a phone visit with troops in Saudi Arabia in December of 1990. Photo: Department of Defense/Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Powell, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arriving at the White House to attend a state dinner with his wife, Alma, in February of 1991. He is survived by Alma and his three children. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images
President George H.W. Bush awards Powell the Presidential Medal of Freedom. First lady Barbara Bush fastens the medal around Powell. He would go on to receive the award again with distinction in 1993. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images
Powell with Diana, the Princess of Wales, and Henry Kissinger at a Cerebral Palsy dinner in New York in 1995. Photo: John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Powell attends one of his very first Cabinet meetings as secretary of state with President George W. Bush in 2001. Powell would serve as secretary of state from 2001-05. Photo by Mark Wilson/Pool via CNP/Getty Images
Powell, then-secretary of state, addresses the United Nations on Feb. 14, 2003. He testified in favor of a military invasion of Iraq but later referred to the speech as a "blot" on his record, per CNN. Photo: Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Though he worked in several Republican administrations, Powell endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president on an episode of "Meet the Press" in 2008. The endorsement boosted Obama's candidacy. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for "Meet The Press"
Powell meets with then-President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden. He endorsed President Obama in 2008 and President Biden in 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Powell on stage during the Capital Concerts' "National Memorial Day Concert" in May. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 11, 2022 - Economy & Business

Powell faces management of an economy he helped create

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

Jerome Powell’s second term as Federal Reserve chair will be defined by his response to the economy he helped create.

Why it matters: Powell's job will be harder in many ways than when the Fed was focused on just keeping the country afloat at the onset of the pandemic.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
51 mins ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.