The first Black US secretary of state, Colin Powell, has died after Covid complications.

His family took to Facebook and posted a statement to announce Powell’s death, confirming that he had received full vaccination: “General Colin L. Powell, former US Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid-19,” they said.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American.”

Born in New York, the 84-year-old moderate Republican had broken it off with his party to endorse Barack Obama in 2008. He also became a trusted military adviser to many politicians.

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Here are some of Colin Powell’s most powerful quotes.

On taking credit:

“There is no end to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

On hard work:

“All work is honorable. Always do your best because someone is watching.”

On sweating the small stuff:

“Never neglect small details, even to the point of being a pest. Moments of stress, confusion, and fatigue are exactly when mistakes happen. And when everyone else’s mind is dulled or distracted, the leaders must be doubly vigilant. Always check ‘small things.’”

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.”

On truth:

“Never believe the first thing you hear.”

On optimism:

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

On separating work from yourself:

“Never get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”

On restraint:

“Control enthusiasm in the face of victories, large or small.”

On instinct:

“Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts.”

On judgement:

“Don’t be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.”

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