Colin Luther Powell is a retired American statesman, diplomat, and retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He is the first African American to have held the office.
Powell was born on April 5, 1937 in Harlem, New York City. His parents, Luther Theophilus and Maud Ariel Powell, were both Jamaican immigrants. He grew up in the South Bronx and attended Morris High School, where he was an honor roll student and a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). After graduating in 1954, he attended the City College of New York, where he earned a degree in geology.
Powell joined the United States Army in 1958, and went on to serve in the Vietnam War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1983, and to four-star general in 1989. In 1989, Powell was named the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, becoming the first African American to hold the position.
In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Powell to become the United States Secretary of State. During his tenure, he traveled to more than 80 countries and was the face of the Bush Administration's foreign policy. He was widely seen as a moderating influence in the administration and was credited with helping to prevent a war with Iraq and to promote peace in the Middle East.
In 2005, Powell retired from public service. Since then, he has served on the board of directors for several major companies, and has been a vocal advocate of education and leadership for youth. He is also the founder of the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, City College of New York.
Powell has been widely honored for his service to the United States. He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and numerous other awards. In addition, he has been inducted into the Army and Navy Hall of Fame.
Colin Powell is a living example of the power of hard work and determination. Through his dedication to public service and his commitment to helping others, he has made a positive impact on the world. He is an inspiration to many and will continue to be remembered as one of the greatest public servants of his time.