State officials react to the death of Fmr. US Secretary of State Colin Powell

NEW YORK (WHEC/AP) — Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He was 84.

Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. Powell grew up in New York and graduated from City College.

State leaders remember Powell as a "proud New Yorker" and someone who always put his "country first". Several state leaders have offered their condolences following Powell’s passing.

Gov. Kathy Hochul:

"Deeply saddened by the passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He was a trailblazer who embodied public service and was driven by honoring American values, not political party. Bill and I send our condolences to his family during this difficult time."

The governor also ordered flags be flown at half-mast to mark his passing, saying, "I am saddened by the passing of General Colin Powell, a New Yorker and son of immigrants who rose to the height of American public service during a distinguished career. As the first Black person to serve as National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State after graduating from the City University of New York, General Powell blazed a path forward for others to follow throughout his decades of service to the United States.

"I am directing flags on all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff until sunset on October 22 in honor of General Powell’s memory and his contributions to building a more perfect union. New Yorkers’ thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Alma, and his children, Linda, Annemarie and Michael."

NY Attorney General Tish James:

"General Colin Powell was a proud New Yorker and City College graduate who always put his country first. Colin Powell will be missed, and my condolences go to his family and loved ones. May he rest in peace."

Congressman Joe Morelle:

“Secretary Powell was a patriot who for decades served America with honor as a distinguished soldier and the first Black Secretary of State. His career as a public servant has left a mark on history that will be felt across our nation for years to come. My heart goes out to his wife, children, and the entire Powell family during this difficult time.”