STATEMENT: CAP’s Patrick Gaspard on the Passing of Colin Powell
Washington, D.C. — Following news that former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell has died, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Colin Powell spent a lifetime breaking barriers as a leader in the military and in diplomacy. He was a man of great character who considered America’s role in the world with a sense of pride and thoughtful responsibility. As the nation’s first African American secretary of state, he was an inspiration to millions of people who respected his leadership, values, and expertise. I always admired his commitment to uphold the ideals of the Constitution and to call out those who would subvert our democracy. I appreciated our many conversations over the years, defined by his willingness to have engaging and thoughtful discussions with me and others when we disagreed with him. His measured voice will be missed on the national stage. His passing from COVID-19 compounds the tragedy of his untimely passing. He always reminded me that “optimism is a force multiplier.” That spirit will continue to inspire through the challenges ahead. My heart and prayers go out to his wife, Alma, and all of his family in this difficult time.
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