The Seacoast is mourning the death of former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell on Monday at the age of 84.

Powell's family said his death was due to complications from COVID-19 while at Walter Reed National Medical Center in an announcement on his Facebook page. He was fully vaccinated against the virus, according to his family.

"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American," his family said.

Powell was the first African-American Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. During that time he made the case before the U.N. Security Council for the U.S. to declare war on Iraq citing information that proved faulty that Sadaam Hussein had a stash of biological weapons.

Prior to that he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton

Powell also flirted with a presidential run in the 1996 primary. He narrowly topped Bob Dole and Jack Kemp in a 1994 Boston Herald/WCVB poll and was also mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick. Powell ultimately decided against a run because he didn't have the "passion or commitment for a political life." In 2000 he endorsed George W. Bush at the GOP Convention.

"Ultimately he was a pragmatic institutionalist, and I don't think he had the taste for partisan warfare. Presidential primaries are pretty ideological affairs, and not really his thing," Dean Spiliotes, SNHU Civic Scholar and the founder of NH Political Capital told Seacoast Current.

Gov. Chris Sununu and the congressional delegation remembered Powell on their respective social media accounts.

“Today we lost an individual who embodied the traits of loyalty, strength, and a deep commitment to public service,” Sununu said in a statement. “Colin Powell devoted himself to the betterment of this country and of every American in all that he did. His legacy and character is one we must remember, and one that we should each seek to emulate in all that we do.”

In a statement Sen. Jeanne Shaheen remembered Powell as a soldier, diplomat and public servant who broke barriers.

“I hope all Americans will join me in honoring his memory and remembering his immense contributions that made our country and world a safer place. His passing is a heartbreaking loss for our nation, and my thoughts are with his family during this tremendously difficult time.”

"Colin Powell was a devoted statesman who believed in the promise of America. I am deeply grateful for his service to our country, and my prayers are with his family today," Sen. Maggie Hassan tweeted.

On his personal Twitter account Rep. Chris Pappas praised Powell as well.

"Colin Powell was a patriotic American who strove to put country first in all that he did. His passing is an immeasurable loss, and I hope his family is comforted by his memory and enduring example," Pappas wrote.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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