Colin Luther Powell, an American diplomat, statesman, and four-star general, has died due to complications from deadly coronavirus at the age of 84.
He served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001 until 2005 and was the first African-American to do so. He also held the position of the National Security Advisor of the United States and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff.
Born in New York City and raised in the South Bronx, Powell blazed a rather remarkable trail in his service to the military.
He once considered running for the presidency, and as a powerful, trustworthy figure, there is no doubt he had everything necessary to be a formidable candidate. Please keep reading to find out why he decided not to and his net worth when he died.
Coronavirus Complications Caused Powell’s Death
Powell, aged 84, was announced dead on October 18 due to complications from coronavirus. He was being treated for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that may have made him vulnerable to the virus.
His family announced his death via Facebook post, “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said.
They thanked the Walter Reed Medical Center “for their caring treatment” and confirmed his vaccination status.
In a tribute to Powell, President Joe Biden called him a “dear friend” and said he personified the “highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat.”
Retired General Lloyd Austin, the current US secretary of defense, also tweeted, “It will be impossible to replace Gen. Colin Powell. He was a tremendous personal friend and mentor to me, and there’s a hole in my heart right now as I think about his loss. My thoughts and prayers today are with his family, and I want them to know I will miss him dearly.”
Former Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama and several other renowned dignitaries also paid their condolences.
‘The Indispensable Man’
During the 1996 presidential elections, the ‘Presidential Candidate’ title would have been added to Powell‘s impressive achievements. He was visited by the former Secretary of Education, William J. Bennett, on June 3, 1994, and in this visit, he tried to convince Powell to run for the presidency.
“The country will be looking for a man of a certain character,” he told Powell. “We’re always playing out some version of George Washington, the indispensable man.”
He said, “And you’re him, you know. If there’s a modern Washington, you’re him. You stand up at the Republican convention and say, ‘I’m running for president because I want to save the American people.’ That means you just bring everybody together. Standing ovation.”
However, despite the cheerleading and ensuing polls, Powell had questions, paid attention to details, and realized that he couldn’t see himself as “the indispensable man.”
Why Did Powell Decline Presidency?
In a press conference, Powell explained, saying, “lack of passion and commitment that, despite my every effort, I do not have for political life. Such a life requires a calling that I do not yet hear. For me to pretend otherwise would not be honest to myself, it would not be honest to the American people, and I would break that bond of trust, and therefore I cannot go forward. I will not be a candidate for President or any other elective office in 1996.”
His reason for declining the Presidential candidacy was also due to concern for his family and the changes they might have to go through.
“It would require sacrifices and change in our life that would be difficult for us to make at this time,” He said. “The welfare of my family had to be uppermost in my mind.”
The net worth of this former Secretary of State was reportedly around $60 million around his death.
Powell Broke Ranks In 2008
Powell has had a long-standing status as a republican until his announcement after the US Capitol attack in January 2021, “I no longer consider myself a Republican,” he said.
This is not the first time he has broken ranks. In 2008, Powell showed that he still had quite the pull when he supported Democrat Barack Obama. According to Powell, the possibility of Obama being the first African-American President would “electrify the world.”
While many thought that his decision meant turning his back on the Republican nominee, John McCain, Powell’s opinion differed.
In his interview with NBC’s Meet The Press in 2008, Powell said, “I think Obama is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason, I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama.”