Who was the first African American to hold the position of Secretary of State?
Colin Powell, in full Colin Luther Powell, (born April 5, 1937, New York, New York, U.S.—died October 18, 2021, Bethesda, Maryland), was a U.S. general and statesman. He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–93) and secretary of state (2001–05), the first African American to hold either position.
He entered the army upon graduation, served in Vietnam in 1962–63 and 1968–69, and then studied at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In April 1989 Powell became a four-star general, and in August Pres. George Bush nominated him chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 2001 he was appointed secretary of state by Pres. George W. Bush.
He died of complications from COVID-19 on October 18, 2021. He was fully vaccinated and had been treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was 84 years old.