Colin Luther Powell (/ˈkoʊlɪn/; born April 5, 1937) is an
American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United
States Army. Powell was born in
Harlem as the son of Jamaican
immigrants. During his military career, Powell also served as National
Security Advisor (1987–1989), as Commander of the
U.S. Army Forces
Command (1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(1989–1993), holding the latter position during the Persian Gulf
War. Powell was the first, and so far the only,
African American to
serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the 65th United States
Secretary of State, serving under U.S. President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush from
2001 to 2005, the first
African American to serve in that
Powell was born in
New York City
New York City in 1937 and was raised in the South
Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United
States from Jamaica. Powell was educated in the
New York City
New York City public
schools, graduating from the
City College of New York
City College of New York (CCNY), where he
earned a bachelor's degree in geology. He also participated in
CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon
graduation in June 1958. His further academic achievements include a
Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington
Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he
held myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star
General. His last assignment, from October 1, 1989 to September 30,
1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the
highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this
time, he oversaw 28 crises, including
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Storm in the
1991 Persian Gulf War. He also formulated the Powell Doctrine.
Following his military retirement, Powell wrote his best-selling
autobiography, My American Journey. In addition, he pursued a career
as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and
abroad. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of State, Powell was the
America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth, a national
nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every
sector of American life to build the character and competence of young
people. He was nominated by President Bush on December 16, 2000 as
Secretary of State. After being unanimously confirmed by the U.S.
Senate, he was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State on January 20,
Powell is the recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards
and decorations. Powell's civilian awards include two Presidential
Medal of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional
Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and
the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools
and other institutions have been named in his honor and he holds
honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country.
Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham,
Alabama. The Powell family includes son Michael (ex-chairman of the
Federal Communications Commission); daughters Linda and Anne;
daughter-in-law Jane; and grandsons Jeffrey and Bryan.
In 2016, while not a candidate for that year's election, Powell
received three electoral votes for the office of President of the
1 Early life and education
2 Military career
2.3 After the
2.4 A "political general"
2.5 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
2.6 Dates of rank
2.7 Awards and decorations
2.7.2 Medals and ribbons
2.7.3 Foreign decorations
2.8 13 Rules of Leadership
3 Potential presidential candidate
4 Secretary of State
5 Life after diplomatic service
6 Political views
6.1 Views on the Iraq War
6.2 Role in presidential election of 2008
6.3 Views on the Obama administration
6.4 2016 presidential election
7 Personal life
8 Civilian awards and honors
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
Early life and education
Powell was born on April 5, 1937, in Harlem, a neighborhood in the
New York City
New York City borough of Manhattan, to Jamaican immigrant parents Maud
Arial (née McKoy) and Luther Theophilus Powell. His parents were both
of mixed African and Scots ancestry. Luther worked as a
shipping clerk and Maud as a seamstress. Powell was raised in the
South Bronx and attended Morris High School, from which he graduated
in 1954. (This school has since closed.)
While at school, Powell worked at a local baby furniture store, where
he picked up Yiddish from the eastern European Jewish shopkeepers and
some of the customers. He also served as a Shabbos goy, helping
Orthodox families with needed tasks on the Sabbath. He received a
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science degree in
Geology from the City College of New
York in 1958 and has said he was a 'C average' student. He
later earned an MBA degree from the
George Washington University
George Washington University in
1971, after his second tour in Vietnam.
Despite his parents' pronunciation of his name as /ˈkɒlɪn/, Powell
has pronounced his name /ˈkoʊlɪn/ since childhood, after the heroic
World War II flyer Colin P. Kelly Jr. Public officials and radio
and television reporters have used Powell's preferred pronunciation.
Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, holding a variety of
command and staff positions and rising to the rank of General.
Powell described joining the
Reserve Officers' Training Corps
Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)
during college as one of the happiest experiences of his life;
discovering something he loved and could do well, he felt he had
"found himself." According to Powell:
It was only once I was in college, about six months into college when
I found something that I liked, and that was ROTC, Reserve Officer
Training Corps in the military. And I not only liked it, but I was
pretty good at it. That's what you really have to look for in life,
something that you like, and something that you think you're pretty
good at. And if you can put those two things together, then you're on
the right track, and just drive on.
Cadet Powell joined the Pershing Rifles, the
organization and drill team begun by General John Pershing. Even after
he had become a general, Powell kept on his desk a pen set he had won
for a drill team competition.
Upon graduation, he received a commission as an Army second
lieutenant. After attending basic training at Fort Benning, Powell
was assigned to the 48th Infantry, in West Germany, as a platoon
In his autobiography, Powell said he is haunted by the nightmare of
Vietnam War and felt that the leadership was very ineffective.
Captain Powell served a tour in
Vietnam as a South Vietnamese Army
(ARVN) advisor from 1962 to 1963. While on patrol in a Viet Cong-held
area, he was wounded by stepping on a punji stake. The large
infection made it difficult for him to walk, and caused his foot to
swell for a short time, shortening his first tour.
He returned to
Vietnam as a major in 1968, serving in the 23rd
Infantry Division, then as assistant chief of staff of operations for
the Americal Division. During the second tour in
Vietnam he was
decorated for bravery after he survived a helicopter crash,
single-handedly rescuing three others, including division commander
Major General Charles M. Gettys, from the burning wreckage.
Powell was charged with investigating a detailed letter by 11th Light
Infantry Brigade soldier Tom Glen, which backed up rumored allegations
of the My Lai Massacre. He wrote: "In direct refutation of this
portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the
Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's assessment would be
described as whitewashing the news of the massacre, and questions
would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. In May 2004 Powell
said to television and radio host Larry King, "I was in a unit that
was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in
war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but
they are still to be deplored."
Powell in April 1989, as the Commanding General of FORSCOM.
Powell served a
White House Fellowship under President Richard Nixon
from 1972 to 1973. During 1975–1976 he attended the National War
College, Washington, D.C.
In his autobiography, My American Journey, Powell named several
officers he served under who inspired and mentored him. As a
lieutenant colonel serving in South Korea, Powell was very close to
General Henry "Gunfighter" Emerson. Powell said he regarded Emerson as
one of the most caring officers he ever met. Emerson insisted his
troops train at night to fight a possible North Korean attack, and
made them repeatedly watch the television film
Brian's Song to promote
racial harmony. Powell always professed that what set Emerson apart
was his great love of his soldiers and concern for their welfare.
After a race riot occurred, in which
African American soldiers almost
killed a White officer, Powell was charged by Emerson to crack down on
black militants; Powell's efforts led to the discharge of one soldier,
and other efforts to reduce racial tensions.
A "political general"
In the early 1980s, Powell served at Fort Carson, Colorado. After he
left Fort Carson, Powell became senior military assistant to Secretary
of Defense Caspar Weinberger, whom he assisted during the 1983
invasion of Grenada and the 1986 airstrike on Libya.
Ronald Reagan and National Security Advisor Powell in 1988
In 1986, Powell took over the command of V Corps in Frankfurt,
Germany, from Robert Lewis "Sam" Wetzel.
Iran Contra scandal, Powell became, at the age of 49,
Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor, serving from 1987 to 1989
while retaining his Army commission as a lieutenant general.
In April 1989, after his tenure with the National Security Council,
Powell was promoted to four-star general under President George H. W.
Bush and briefly served as the Commander in Chief, Forces Command
(FORSCOM), headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia, overseeing all
Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard units in the Continental U.S.,
Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. He became the third general since
World War II to reach four-star rank without ever serving as a
division commander, joining
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower and Alexander Haig.
Later that year, President
George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush selected him as Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Powell in November 1989, on his official Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff portrait.
Powell's last military assignment, from October 1, 1989, to September
30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the
highest military position in the Department of Defense. At age 52, he
became the youngest officer, and first Afro-Caribbean American, to
serve in this position. Powell was also the first JCS Chair who
received his commission through ROTC.
During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including the invasion of
Panama in 1989 to remove General
Manuel Noriega from power and
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. During these
events, Powell earned his nickname, "the reluctant warrior." He rarely
advocated military intervention as the first solution to an
international crisis, and instead usually prescribed diplomacy and
General Colin Powell, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, waves from his
motorcade during the Persian
Gulf War Welcome Home Parade in New York
As a military strategist, Powell advocated an approach to military
conflicts that maximizes the potential for success and minimizes
casualties. A component of this approach is the use of overwhelming
force, which he applied to
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Storm in 1991. His
approach has been dubbed the "Powell Doctrine". Powell continued as
chairman of the JCS into the Clinton presidency but as a dedicated
"realist" he considered himself a bad fit for an administration
largely made up of liberal internationalists. He clashed with
then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
Madeleine Albright over the
Bosnian crisis, as he opposed any military interventions that didn't
involve US interests.
During his chairmanship of the JCS, there was discussion of awarding
Powell a fifth star, granting him the rank of General of the Army. But
even in the wake of public and Congressional pressure to do
Clinton-Gore presidential transition team staffers decided against
Dates of rank
April 4, 1989
March 26, 1986
August 1, 1983
June 1, 1979
February 1, 1976
July 9, 1970
May 24, 1966
June 2, 1962
December 30, 1959
June 9, 1958
Awards and decorations
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Air Assault Badge
Presidential Service Badge
Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Medals and ribbons
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Service Medal, Army with oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction (1993)
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom (1991)
Presidential Citizens Medal
National Defense Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star
Vietnam Service Medal with silver service star
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 4
Skanderbeg's Order (Albania)
Honorary Knight Commander of the
Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath (KCB) (United
Légion d'honneur, Grand Cross (France)
Meritorious Service Cross
Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.) (Canada)
Order of Stara Planina in the First Order (Bulgaria)
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal
13 Rules of Leadership
First printed in the August 13, 1989 issue of Parade magazine,
these are Colin Powell's 13 Rules of Leadership.
It ain't as bad as you think.
Get mad, then get over it.
Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your
position falls, your ego goes with it.
It can be done.
Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
You can't make someone else's choices.
Check small things.
Remain calm. Be kind.
Have a vision.
Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Potential presidential candidate
Powell's experience in military matters made him a very popular figure
with both American political parties. Many Democrats admired his
moderate stance on military matters, while many Republicans saw him as
a great asset associated with the successes of past Republican
administrations. Put forth as a potential Democratic Vice Presidential
nominee in the 1992 U.S. presidential election or even potentially
replacing Vice President
Dan Quayle as the Republican Vice
Presidential nominee, Powell eventually declared himself a
Republican and began to campaign for Republican candidates in
1995. He was touted as a possible opponent of
Bill Clinton in the
1996 U.S. presidential election, possibly capitalizing on a split
conservative vote in Iowa and even leading
New Hampshire polls for
the GOP nomination, but Powell declined, citing a lack of passion
for politics. Powell defeated Clinton 50–38 in a hypothetical
match-up proposed to voters in the exit polls conducted on Election
Day. Despite not standing in the race, Powell won the Republican
New Hampshire Vice-Presidential primary on write-in votes.
In 1997 Powell founded
America's Promise with the objective of helping
children from all socioeconomic sectors. That same year saw the
establishment of The Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and
Service. The mission of the Center is to "prepare new generations of
publicly engaged leaders from populations previously underrepresented
in public service and policy circles, to build a strong culture of
civic engagement at City College, and to mobilize campus resources to
meet pressing community needs and serve the public good." 
Powell was mentioned as a potential candidate in the 2000 U.S.
presidential election, but decided against running. Once Texas
George W. Bush
George W. Bush secured the Republican nomination, Powell
endorsed him for president and spoke at the 2000 Republican National
Convention. Bush eventually won, and Powell was appointed Secretary of
In the electoral college vote count of 2016, Powell received three
votes from faithless electors from Washington.
Secretary of State
Powell, National Security Advisor
Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of
Donald Rumsfeld listen to President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush speak.
As Secretary of State in the Bush administration, Powell was perceived
as moderate. Powell was unanimously confirmed by the United States
Senate. Over the course of his tenure he traveled less than any other
U.S. Secretary of State in 30 years. 
On September 11, 2001, Powell was in Lima, Peru, meeting with
Alejandro Toledo and
US Ambassador John Hamilton, and
attending the special session of the OAS General Assembly that
subsequently adopted the Inter-American Democratic Charter. After the
September 11 attacks, Powell's job became of critical importance in
managing America's relationships with foreign countries in order to
secure a stable coalition in the War on Terrorism.
Powell came under fire for his role in building the case for the 2003
Invasion of Iraq. In a press statement on February 24, 2001, he had
said that sanctions against Iraq had prevented the development of any
weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein. As was the case in the
days leading up to the Persian Gulf War, Powell was initially opposed
to a forcible overthrow of Saddam, preferring to continue a policy of
containment. However, Powell eventually agreed to go along with the
Bush administration's determination to remove Saddam. He had often
clashed with others in the administration, who were reportedly
planning an Iraq invasion even before the September 11 attacks, an
insight supported by testimony by former terrorism czar Richard Clarke
in front of the 9/11 Commission. The main concession Powell wanted
before he would offer his full support for the
Iraq War was the
involvement of the international community in the invasion, as opposed
to a unilateral approach. He was also successful in persuading Bush to
take the case of Iraq to the United Nations, and in moderating other
initiatives. Powell was placed at the forefront of this diplomatic
Computer-generated image of an alleged mobile production facility for
biological weapons, presented by Powell at the UN Security Council. On
May 27, 2003, US and UK experts examined the trailers and declared
they had nothing to do with biological weapons.
Powell holding a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council in February 2003.
Powell's chief role was to garner international support for a
multi-national coalition to mount the invasion. To this end, Powell
addressed a plenary session of the
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council on
February 5, 2003, to argue in favor of military action. Citing
numerous anonymous Iraqi defectors, Powell asserted that "there can be
no doubt that
Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability
to rapidly produce more, many more." Powell also stated that there was
"no doubt in my mind" that Saddam was working to obtain key components
to produce nuclear weapons.
Most observers praised Powell's oratorical skills. However, Britain's
Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News reported soon afterwards that a UK intelligence dossier
that Powell had referred to as a "fine paper" during his presentation
had been based on old material and plagiarized an essay by American
graduate student Ibrahim al-Marashi. A 2004 report by the Iraq
Survey Group concluded that the evidence that Powell offered to
support the allegation that the Iraqi government possessed weapons of
mass destruction (WMDs) was inaccurate.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Powell contended that prior to his
UN presentation, he had merely four days to review the data concerning
WMD in Iraq.
A Senate report on intelligence failures would later detail the
intense debate that went on behind the scenes on what to include in
Powell's speech. State Department analysts had found dozens of factual
problems in drafts of the speech. Some of the claims were taken out,
but others were left in, such as claims based on the yellowcake
forgery. The administration came under fire for having acted on
faulty intelligence, particularly what was single-sourced to the
informant known as Curveball. Powell later recounted how Vice
Dick Cheney had joked with him before he gave the speech,
telling him, "You've got high poll ratings; you can afford to lose a
few points." Powell's longtime aide-de-camp and Chief of Staff from
1989–2003, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, later characterized Cheney's
view of Powell's mission as to "go up there and sell it, and we'll
have moved forward a peg or two. Fall on your damn sword and kill
yourself, and I'll be happy, too."
In September 2005, Powell was asked about the speech during an
Barbara Walters and responded that it was a "blot" on
his record. He went on to say, "It will always be a part of my record.
It was painful. It's painful now."
Wilkerson said that he inadvertently participated in a hoax on the
American people in preparing Powell's erroneous testimony before the
United Nations Security Council.
Because Powell was seen as more moderate than most figures in the
administration, he was spared many of the attacks that have been
leveled at more controversial advocates of the invasion, such as
Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. At times, infighting among the
Powell-led State Department, the Rumsfeld-led Defense Department, and
Cheney's office had the effect of polarizing the administration on
crucial issues, such as what actions to take regarding
Iran and North
Secretary Powell with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Saddam Hussein had been deposed, Powell's new role was to once
again establish a working international coalition, this time to assist
in the rebuilding of post-war Iraq. On September 13, 2004, Powell
testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee,
acknowledging that the sources who provided much of the information in
his February 2003 UN presentation were "wrong" and that it was
"unlikely" that any stockpiles of WMDs would be found. Claiming that
he was unaware that some intelligence officials questioned the
information prior to his presentation, Powell pushed for reform in the
intelligence community, including the creation of a national
intelligence director who would assure that "what one person knew,
everyone else knew."
Additionally, Powell has been critical of other instances of U.S.
foreign policy in the past, such as its support for the 1973 Chilean
coup d'état. From two separate interviews in 2003, Powell stated in
one about the 1973 event "I can't justify or explain the actions and
decisions that were made at that time. It was a different time. There
was a great deal of concern about communism in this part of the world.
Communism was a threat to the democracies in this part of the world.
It was a threat to the United States." In another interview,
however, he also simply stated "With respect to your earlier comment
Chile in the 1970s and what happened with Mr. Allende, it is not
a part of American history that we're proud of."
Powell announced his resignation as Secretary of State on November 15,
2004. According to The Washington Post, he had been asked to resign by
the president's chief of staff, Andrew Card. Powell announced that
he would stay on until the end of Bush's first term or until his
replacement's confirmation by Congress. The following day, Bush
nominated National Security Advisor
Condoleezza Rice as Powell's
successor. News of Powell's leaving the Administration spurred mixed
reactions from politicians around the world — some upset at the
loss of a statesman seen as a moderating factor within the Bush
administration, but others hoping for Powell's successor to wield more
influence within the cabinet.
In mid-November, Powell stated that he had seen new evidence
Iran was adapting missiles for a nuclear delivery
system. The accusation came at the same time as the settlement of
an agreement between Iran, the IAEA, and the European Union.
On December 31, 2004, Powell rang in the New Year by pressing a button
Times Square with
New York City
New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg to initiate
the ball drop and 60 second countdown, ushering in the year 2005. He
appeared on the networks that were broadcasting New Year's Eve
specials and talked about this honor, as well as being a native of New
Life after diplomatic service
After retiring from the role of Secretary of State, Powell returned to
private life. In April 2005, he was privately telephoned by Republican
Lincoln Chafee and Chuck Hagel, at which time Powell
expressed reservations and mixed reviews about the nomination of John
R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, but refrained from
advising the senators to oppose Bolton (Powell had clashed with Bolton
during Bush's first term). The decision was viewed as potentially
dealing significant damage to Bolton's chances of confirmation. Bolton
was put into the position via a recess appointment because of the
strong opposition in the Senate.
Powell with Ban Ki-moon, 2004.
On April 28, 2005, an opinion piece in
The Guardian by Sidney
Blumenthal (a former top aide to President Bill Clinton) claimed that
Powell was in fact "conducting a campaign" against Bolton because of
the acrimonious battles they had had while working together, which
among other things had resulted in Powell cutting Bolton out of talks
Libya after complaints about Bolton's involvement from
the British. Blumenthal added that "The foreign relations committee
has discovered that Bolton made a highly unusual request and gained
access to 10 intercepts by the National Security Agency. Staff members
on the committee believe that Bolton was probably spying on Powell,
his senior advisors and other officials reporting to him on diplomatic
initiatives that Bolton opposed."
In July 2005, Powell joined Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, a
Silicon Valley venture capital firm, with the title of
"strategic limited partner."
In September 2005, Powell criticized the response to Hurricane
Katrina. Powell said that thousands of people were not properly
protected, but because they were poor rather than because they were
Powell walks with newly crowned King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Vice
President Dick Cheney, and former President George H. W. Bush, Saudi
Arabia, August 2005.
On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the
White House of
former Secretaries of Defense and State to discuss United States
foreign policy with Bush administration officials. In September 2006,
Powell sided with more moderate Senate Republicans in supporting more
rights for detainees and opposing President Bush's terrorism bill. He
backed Senators John Warner,
John McCain and
Lindsey Graham in their
statement that U.S. military and intelligence personnel in future wars
will suffer for abuses committed in 2006 by the U.S. in the name of
fighting terrorism. Powell stated that "The world is beginning to
doubt the moral basis of [America's] fight against terrorism."
Also in 2006, Powell began appearing as a speaker at a series of
motivational events called Get Motivated, along with former New York
Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In his speeches for the tour, he openly
criticized the Bush Administration on a number of issues. Powell has
been the recipient of mild criticism for his role with Get Motivated
which has been called a "get-rich-quick-without-much-effort, feel-good
In 2007 he joined the Board of Directors of Steve Case's new company
Revolution Health. Powell also serves on the Council on Foreign
Relations Board of directors.
Powell, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, dropped the ceremonial
first puck at a
New York Islanders
New York Islanders ice hockey game at Nassau Coliseum
on January 21, 2008. On November 11, 2008, Powell again dropped the
puck in recognition of
Military Appreciation Day and Veterans
Recently, Powell has encouraged young people to continue to use new
technologies to their advantage in the future. In a speech at the
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Center for Strategic and International Studies to a room of young
professionals, he said, "That's your generation...a generation that is
hard-wired digital, a generation that understands the power of the
information revolution and how it is transforming the world. A
generation that you represent, and you're coming together to share; to
debate; to decide; to connect with each other." At this event, he
encouraged the next generation to involve themselves politically on
the upcoming Next America Project, which uses online debate to provide
policy recommendations for the upcoming administration.
In 2008, Powell served as a spokesperson for National Mentoring Month,
a campaign held each January to recruit volunteer mentors for at-risk
Soon after Barack Obama's 2008 election, Powell began being mentioned
as a possible cabinet member. He was not nominated.
In September 2009, Powell advised President Obama against surging US
forces in Afghanistan. The president announced the surge the
On March 14, 2014,
Salesforce.com announced that Powell had joined its
Board of Directors.
A liberal Republican, Powell is well known for his willingness to
support liberal or centrist causes. He is pro-choice regarding
abortion, and in favor of "reasonable" gun control.[clarification
needed] He stated in his autobiography that he supports affirmative
action that levels the playing field, without giving a leg up to
undeserving persons because of racial issues. Powell was also
instrumental in the 1993 implementation of the military's don't ask,
don't tell policy, though he later supported its repeal as
Robert Gates and Admiral
Mike Mullen in January 2010,
saying "circumstances had changed".
Booknotes interview with Powell on My American Journey, January 7,
Vietnam War had a profound effect on Powell's views of the proper
use of military force. These views are described in detail in the
autobiography My American Journey. The Powell Doctrine, as the views
became known, was a central component of U.S. policy in the Persian
Gulf War (the first U.S. war in Iraq) and U.S. invasion of Afghanistan
(the overthrow of the
Taliban regime in
Afghanistan following the
September 11 attacks). The hallmark of both operations was strong
international cooperation, and the use of overwhelming military force.
Powell was the subject of controversy in 2004 when, in a conversation
with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, he reportedly referred to
neoconservatives within the Bush administration as "fucking
crazies." In addition to being reported in the press (although the
expletive was generally censored in the U.S. press), the quotation was
James Naughtie in his book, The Accidental American: Tony
Blair and the Presidency, and by
Chris Patten in his book, Cousins and
Strangers: America, Britain, and Europe in a New Century.
In a September 2006 letter to Sen. John McCain, General Powell
expressed opposition to President Bush's push for military tribunals
of those formerly and currently classified as enemy combatants.
Specifically, he objected to the effort in Congress to "redefine
Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention." He also asserted: "The
world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against
Powell endorsed President Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. When asked
why he is still a Republican on
Meet the Press
Meet the Press he said, "I’m still a
Republican. And I think the Republican Party needs me more than the
Democratic Party needs me. And you can be a Republican and still feel
strongly about issues such as immigration, and improving our education
system, and doing something about some of the social problems that
exist in our society and our country. I don’t think there's anything
inconsistent with this." 
Views on the Iraq War
While Powell was wary of a military solution, he supported the
decision to invade Iraq after the Bush administration concluded that
diplomatic efforts had failed. After his departure from the State
Department, Powell repeatedly emphasized his continued support for
American involvement in the Iraq War.
At the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Powell revealed that
he had spent two and a half hours explaining to President Bush "the
consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the
occupiers." During this discussion, he insisted that the U.S. appeal
to the United Nations first, but if diplomacy failed, he would support
the invasion: "I also had to say to him that you are the President,
you will have to make the ultimate judgment, and if the judgment is
this isn't working and we don't think it is going to solve the
problem, then if military action is undertaken I'm with you, I support
In a 2008 interview on CNN, Powell reiterated his support for the 2003
decision to invade Iraq in the context of his endorsement of Barack
Obama, stating: "My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted
to avoid a war. The president [Bush] agreed with me. We tried to do
that. We couldn't get it through the U.N. and when the president made
the decision, I supported that decision. And I've never blinked from
that. I've never said I didn't support a decision to go to war."
Powell's position on the
Iraq War troop surge of 2007 has been less
consistent. In December 2006, he expressed skepticism that the
strategy would work and whether the U.S. military had enough troops to
carry it out successfully. He stated: "I am not persuaded that another
surge of troops into Baghdad for the purposes of suppressing this
communitarian violence, this civil war, will work." Following his
Barack Obama in October 2008, however, Powell praised
David Petraeus and U.S. troops, as well as the Iraqi
government, concluding that "it's starting to turn around." By
mid-2009, he had concluded a surge of U.S. forces in Iraq should have
come sooner, perhaps in late 2003. Throughout this period, Powell
consistently argued that Iraqi political progress was essential, not
just military force.
Role in presidential election of 2008
Powell donated the maximum allowable amount to John McCain's campaign
in the summer of 2007 and in early 2008, his name was listed as a
possible running mate for Republican nominee McCain's bid during the
2008 U.S. presidential election. However, on October 19, 2008,
Powell announced his endorsement of
Barack Obama during a Meet the
Press interview, citing "his ability to inspire, because of the
inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all
across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities", in
addition to his "style and substance." He additionally referred to
Obama as a "transformational figure". Powell further
questioned McCain's judgment in appointing
Sarah Palin as the vice
presidential candidate, stating that despite the fact that she is
admired, "now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven
weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United
States, which is the job of the vice president." He said that Obama's
choice for vice-president, Joe Biden, was ready to be president. He
also added that he was "troubled" by the "false intimations that Obama
was Muslim." Powell stated that "[Obama] is a Christian—he's always
been a Christian... But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is
there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The
answer's no, that's not America." Powell then mentioned Kareem Rashad
Sultan Khan, a Muslim American soldier in the
U.S. Army who served and
died in the Iraq War. He later stated, "Over the last seven weeks, the
approach of the Republican Party has become narrower and narrower
[...] I look at these kind of approaches to the campaign, and they
trouble me." Powell concluded his Sunday morning talk show
comments, "It isn't easy for me to disappoint Sen. McCain in the way
that I have this morning, and I regret that [...] I think we need a
transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a
generational change and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama, not
out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain."
Later in a December 12, 2008,
CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria,
Powell reiterated his belief that during the last few months of the
campaign, Palin pushed the Republican party further to the right and
had a polarizing impact on it.
Views on the Obama administration
In a July 2009
CNN interview with John King, Powell expressed concern
over President Obama growing the size of the federal government and
the size of the federal budget deficit. In September 2010, he
criticized the Obama administration for not focusing "like a razor
blade" on the economy and job creation. Powell reiterated that Obama
was a "transformational figure." In a video that aired on CNN.com
in November 2011,
Colin Powell said in reference to Barack Obama,
"many of his decisions have been quite sound. The financial system was
put back on a stable basis."
On October 25, 2012, 12 days before the presidential election, he gave
his endorsement to President Obama for re-election during a broadcast
of CBS This Morning. He cited success and forward progress in foreign
and domestic policy arenas under the Obama Administration, and made
the following statement: "I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick
with him in 2012 and I'll be voting for he [sic] and for Vice
Joe Biden next month."
As additional reason for his endorsement, Powell cited the changing
positions and perceived lack of thoughtfulness of
Mitt Romney on
foreign affairs, and a concern for the validity of Romney's economic
In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos
during ABC's coverage of President Obama's second inauguration, Powell
criticized members of the Republican Party who "demonize[d] the
president". He called on GOP leaders to publicly denounce such
2016 presidential election
Powell has been very vocal on the state of the Republican party.
Speaking at a Washington Ideas forum in early October 2015, he warned
the audience that the Republican party had begun a move to the fringe
right, lessening the chances of a Republican
White House in the
future. He also remarked on Republican presidential contender Donald
Trump's statements regarding immigrants, noting that there were many
immigrants working in Trump hotels.
In March 2016, Powell denounced the "nastiness" of the 2016 Republican
primaries during an interview on CBS This Morning. He compared the
race to a "reality show", and stated that the campaign had gone "into
In August 2016, Powell accused the Clinton campaign of trying to pin
Democratic presidential nominee
Hillary Clinton's email controversy
Hillary Clinton's email controversy on
him. Speaking to People magazine, Powell said, "The truth is, she was
using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo
telling her what I did."
On September 13, 2016, emails were obtained that revealed Powell's
private communications regarding both
Donald Trump and Hillary
Clinton. Powell privately reiterated his comments regarding Clinton's
email scandal, writing, "I have told Hillary's minions repeatedly that
they are making a mistake trying to drag me in, yet they still try,"
and complaining that "Hillary’s mafia keeps trying to suck me into
it" in another email. In another email discussing Clinton's
controversy, Powell noted that she should have told everyone what she
did "two years ago", and said that she has not "been covering herself
with glory." Writing on the
2012 Benghazi attack
2012 Benghazi attack controversy
surrounding Clinton, Powell said to then U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice,
"Benghazi is a stupid witch hunt." Commenting on Clinton in a general
sense, Powell mused that "Everything [Clinton] touches she kind of
screws up with hubris", and in another email stated "I would rather
not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect."
Powell referred to
Donald Trump as a "national disgrace", with "no
sense of shame". He wrote candidly of Trump's role in the birther
movement, which he referred to as "racist". Powell suggested that the
media ignore Trump, saying, "To go on and call him an idiot just
emboldens him." The emails were obtained by the media as the result of
Powell endorsed Clinton on October 25, 2016, stating it was "because I
think she's qualified, and the other gentleman is not qualified."
Despite not running in the election, Powell received three electoral
votes for president from faithless electors in Washington who had
pledged to vote for Clinton, coming in third overall. After
Barack Obama, Powell was only the second
African American to receive
electoral votes in a presidential election. He was also the first
Republican since 1984 to receive electoral votes from Washington in a
presidential election, as well as the first Republican African
American to do so.
Powell married Alma Johnson on August 25, 1962. Their son, Michael
Powell, was the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) from 2001 to 2005. His daughters are Linda Powell, an actress,
and Annemarie Powell. As a hobby, Powell restores old Volvo and Saab
cars. In 2013, he faced questions about a relationship with
a Romanian diplomat, after a hacked
AOL email account had been made
public. He acknowledged a "very personal" email relationship but
denied further involvement.
Civilian awards and honors
Powell's civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom
(the second with distinction), the President's Citizens Medal, the
Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service
Medal, the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal, and the
Ronald Reagan Freedom Award. Several schools and other institutions
have been named in his honor and he holds honorary degrees from
universities and colleges across the country.
In 1988, Powell received the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate
In 1990, Powell received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for
Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award
given out annually by Jefferson Awards.
In 1991, Powell was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom by
President George H. W. Bush.
In 1991, Powell was awarded the
Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.
In 1991, Powell was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of
Distinguished Americans, which "honors the achievements of
outstanding individuals in U.S. society who have succeeded in spite of
adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams
through higher education."
On September 30, 1993, Powell was awarded his second Presidential
Medal of Freedom with distinction by President Bill Clinton.
On November 9, 1993, Powell was awarded the second Ronald Reagan
Freedom Award, by President Ronald Reagan. Powell served as Reagan's
National Security Advisor from 1987–1989.
On December 15, 1993,
Colin Powell was created an honorary Knight
Commander of the
Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II of the United
In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious
Sylvanus Thayer Award
Sylvanus Thayer Award by the
United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy for his commitment to the ideals of
"Duty, Honor, Country."
Liberty Medal was awarded to
Colin Powell on July 4 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In his acceptance speech, Powell reminded
Americans that "It is for America, the Land of the Free and the Home
of the Brave, to help freedom ring across the globe, unto all the
peoples thereof. That is our solemn obligation, and we will not
Coat of arms
The Coat of Arms of
Colin Powell was granted by the
Lord Lyon in
Edinburgh on February 4, 2004. Technically the grant was to Powell's
father (a British subject) to be passed on by descent. Scotland's King
of Arms is traditionally responsible for granting arms to Commonwealth
citizens of Scottish descent. Blazoned as
Azure, two swords in saltire points downwards between four mullets
Argent, on a chief of the Second a lion passant Gules. On a wreath of
the Liveries is set for Crest the head of an American bald-headed
eagle erased Proper. And in an escrol over the same this motto,
"DEVOTED TO PUBLIC SERVICE."
The swords and stars refer to the former general's career, as does the
crest, which is the badge of the 101st Airborne (which he served as a
brigade commander in the mid-1970s). The lion may be an allusion to
Scotland. The shield can be shown surrounded by the insignia of an
honorary Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath
(KCB), an award the General received after the first Gulf War.
In 2005 Powell received the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished
Humanitarian Service Award for his contributions to Africa.
AARP honored Powell with the 2006
AARP Andrus Award, the Association's
highest honor. This award, named in honor of AARP's founder, Dr. Ethel
Percy Andrus, is presented biennially to distinguished individuals who
have generated positive social change in the world, and whose work and
achievements reflect AARP's vision of bringing lifetimes of experience
and leadership to serve all generations.
In 2005 Colin and
Alma Powell were awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award
for Public Service by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution.
Colin Powell was initiated as an honorary brother in Sigma Phi
Powell is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult
award given by the Boy Scouts of America.
A street in Gelnhausen, Germany was named after him:
In 2002, scholar
Molefi Kete Asante
Molefi Kete Asante listed
Colin Powell on his list of
100 Greatest African Americans.
In 2009, an elementary school named for
Colin Powell opened in El
Paso. It is in the El Paso Independent School District, located on
Fort Bliss property, and serves a portion of Fort Bliss. There is
also a street in El Paso named for Powell,
Colin Powell Drive.
Powell is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian organization
Wings of Hope
Since 2006, he is the chairman of the Board of Trustees for Eisenhower
In 2006, The
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded
Colin Powell with
the Truman Peace Prize for his efforts to conduct the "war against
terrorism", through diplomatic as well as military means, and to avert
regional and civil conflicts in many parts of the world.
In September 2012
Union City, New Jersey
Union City, New Jersey opened Colin Powell
Elementary School, which was named after Powell, and dedicated the
school on February 7, 2013, with governor
Chris Christie in
attendance. Powell himself visited the school on June 4,
Colin Powell was named to the National Board of Advisors for
High Point University.
United States Army
United States Army portal
Military of the United States portal
List of African-American Republicans
List of African-American
United States Cabinet
United States Cabinet Secretaries
Pottery Barn rule
Republican and conservative support for
Barack Obama in 2008
^ "Biographies of the Secretary of State:Colin Luther Powell". U.S.
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^ Preferred pronunciation rhymes with "bowel", not "bowl" (as in
Charles Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater) – see Alexander
Chancellor, "You Say Tomato", New Yorker. August 9, 1993, p. 27.
^ The first
African American secretary of state,
Colin Powell Archived
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^ Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Colin Powell". wargs.com.
Retrieved October 20, 2008.
^ Branigan, Tania (May 12, 2004). "
Colin Powell claims Scottish coat
of arms". The Guardian. London.
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Newsletter. 9 (20). May 17, 2004.
CNN staff (March 30, 2016). "
Colin Powell Fast Facts". CNN.
Retrieved September 30, 2016.
^ Daly, Michael (August 2, 2000). "Powell's Old Nabe Boss a Big
Backer". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on November
10, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008. Powell explained that he had
joined ROTC. He became an officer after graduation, leaving Sickser's
with a smattering of Yiddish...
^ "Former Secretary of State Gen.
Colin Powell and Mario Cuomo, former
governor of New York State, each a former Shabbos goy, both share fond
recollections of their youth, when they were uniquely qualified to
lend a Jewish neighbor a hand." Fertig, Avi. "Glatt Kosher Adventure
To The Land Down Under", The Jewish Press, November 21, 2007.
^ a b "
Colin Powell Fast Facts". CNN. April 2, 2017. Education: City
College of New York, B.S. in geology,1958; George Washington
University, M.B.A.,1971; National War College, 1976
^ "About Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)". The
Colin Powell School
for Civic and Global Leadership, The City College of New York. He
New York City
New York City public schools and the City College of New York
where he earned a B.S. in Geology.
^ Schwab, Nikki (May 30, 2012). "Colin Powell: bad student".
Washington Examiner. My cousins became lawyers and doctors and judges
and I just sort of hung around," he recalled. "I had a straight C
average all the way through high school and the City College of New
York — I'm not sure how I got in.
^ "Major Player: Gen. Colin L. Powell (Ret.)". Washington Post. July
28, 2000. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
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A&E Television Networks. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
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Junction, Oregon: Oregon Institute of Science & Medicine.
p. 179. ISBN 978-1-884067-10-5. OCLC 41447083.
^ Finlayson, Reggie (2003). Colin Powell. Biography (A & E).
Twenty-First Century Books. p. 55. ISBN 9780822549666.
Retrieved 7 December 2012.
^ "Interview on CNN's
Larry King Live". New York: U.S. Department of
State. May 4, 2004. Archived from the original on January 10, 2007.
Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ Brown, Warren; Wagner, Heather Lehr (1 Jan 2009). Colin Powell:
Soldier and Statesman. Infobase Publishing. p. 41,43.
^ "Online NewsHour: Colin Powell". Pbs.org. Retrieved August 29,
^ "The 14 Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff". Joint History
Office, U.S. Department of Defense. American Forces Press Service.
August 10, 1999. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
^ O'Sullivan, Christopher (2010). Colin Powell: A Political Biography.
Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 100.
^ "Reluctant warrior", The Observer, September 30, 2001.
^ Company, Johnson Publishing (March 1991). "U.S. Sen. Kasten Pushing
Effort To Award Powell With Historic Fifth Star". Jet. 79 (23).
ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved February 21, 2011. ...there is a
movement afoot in the U.S. Senate to award an historic fifth star to
the nation's first Black
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Colin L.
Powell for his military proficiency.
^ Italia, Bob (1991). Armed Forces: War in the Gulf. Abdo &
Daughters. pp. 44–6. ISBN 978-1-56239-026-6. Retrieved
February 21, 2011. Others want to make him a five-star general. [...]
Congress is talking about giving him a fifth silver star, which is
^ Stephanopoulos, George (1999). All Too Human: A Political Education.
Thorndike Press. pp. 330–1. ISBN 978-0-7862-2016-8.
Retrieved February 21, 2011. Mack asked me to secretly research the
procedure for awarding a fifth star to a general. [...] If Powell did
challenge Clinton, the fifth star would forestall criticism of the
general's military record.
^ Hamilton, Nigel (2007). Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency.
PublicAffairs. pp. 190, 399. ISBN 978-1-58648-516-0.
Retrieved February 21, 2011. Moreover, for the very reason he admired
Colin Powell as the most distinguished living black American, Clinton
also feared the general as a potential rival. [...]
Bill Clinton had
denied Powell his rightful fifth star...
^ Halberstam, David (2001). War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and
the Generals. Scribner. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-7432-0212-1.
Retrieved February 22, 2011. They checked it out and found that the
last general to get a fifth star was
Omar Bradley forty-three years
earlier. Powell, they decided, was not Bradley. Besides, as George
Stephanopoulos noted, if they gave him one more star, it might help
him one day politically.
^ a b Clinton, W. J. (September 30, 1993). "Remarks on the Retirement
Colin Powell in Arlington, Virginia". University of
California, Santa Barbara: The American Presidency Project. Retrieved
September 18, 2016. In recognition of your legacy and service, of your
courage and accomplishment, today, General Powell, I was honored to
present you with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with distinction.
I want to tell all those here in attendance that this was the second
Medal of Freedom you have received, the first from President Bush in
1991. And today, you became only the second American citizen in the
history of the Republic to be the recipient of two Medals of
^ "Remarks With Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov At Award Ceremony
for the Stara Planina First Order Medal". Presidential Palace, Coat of
Arms Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria: U.S. Department of State. December 7,
^ "Parvanov-Powell". President of the Republic of Bulgaria. December
7, 2004. President Georgi Parvanov awarded US Secretary of State Colin
Powell with the highest Bulgarian order "Stara Planina" for his
extraordinary services to the advancement of Bulgarian-American
relations and in connection with the 100th anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the United
^ Powell, Colin (2012). It Worked for Me. HarperCollins.
pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0-06-213512-4.
^ McClimon, Tim (27 August 2012). "Colin Powell's 13 Rules of
Leadership". American Express. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
^ "Can we apply Colin Powell's 13 rules?" (PDF). Texas Child Care
Quarterly. Summer 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
^ Schram, Martin (January 21, 1995). "Don't Count Out Colin Powell".
The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
^ Van Dyk, Ted (September 6, 1990). "Will Powell Run With Bush in
'92?". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
^ Lusane C.
Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign Policy, Race
and the New American Century. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006,
ISBN 0-275-98309-9, p. 46.
^ Apple, R. W. (October 28, 1995). "Life in
Iowa May Not Have Changed,
But the Political Turf Is Another Story". The New York Times.
Retrieved October 20, 2008.
^ Berke, Richard L. (October 19, 1995). "
New Hampshire Poll Finds
Powell With an Edge". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19,
^ Clines, Francis X. (November 9, 1995). "The Powell Decision: The
Announcement". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
^ Plissner, Martin (February 7, 2007). "Ready for Obama Already". The
New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
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1996. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
^ "Colin L. Powell Center for Public Policy". Retrieved 16 February
^ "How Mccain Does It". 2000-03-06. Retrieved 2016-08-12.
^ Kessler, Glenn (July 14, 2004). "Powell Flies in the Face of
Tradition; The Secretary of State Is Least Traveled in 30 Years".
Washington Post. p. A01.
^ Warrick, Joby (April 12, 2006). "Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried
Case for War; Administration Pushed Notion of Banned Iraqi Weapons
Despite Evidence to Contrary". Washington Post. p. A01.
^ Powell, Secretary Colin L. (February 5, 2003). "Remarks to the
United Nations Security Council". New York City: U.S. Department of
State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2007. Retrieved
February 3, 2007.
^ Lawless, Jill (February 7, 2003). "U.S. Scholar Uncredited in Iraq
Report". Associated Press. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
^ "UK accused of lifting dossier text". CNN. February 7, 2003.
^ Charlie Rose. charlierose.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
^ Miller, Greg (July 15, 2004). "Flaws Cited in Powell's U.N. Speech
on Iraq". Los Angeles Times. reprinted by CommonDreams.org. Retrieved
February 3, 2007.
^ a b DeYoung, Karen (October 1, 2006). "Falling on His Sword: Colin
Powell's most significant moment turned out to be his lowest".
Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
Colin Powell on Iraq, Race, and Hurricane Relief". ABC News: 20/20.
September 8, 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ Brancaccio, David (February 3, 2006). "Iraq Pre-War Intelligence".
NOW. PBS. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ Pincus, Walter (February 14, 2004). "Support for Intelligence Plan".
Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ "Remarks at the 2003 Groundhog Job Shadow Day Program, Secretary
Colin L. Powell, Remarks and question and answer session with
students, Washington, DC, January 31, 2003, excerpt on 1973 Chile
coup, Federation of American Scientists". Fas.org. Retrieved August
^ "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Interview On Black
Entertainment Television's Youth Town Hall, February 20, 2003,
excerpt on 1973 U.S. covert action in Chile, Federation of American
Scientists". Fas.org. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
^ Sciolino, Elaine (November 18, 2004). "Exiles Add to Claims on Iran
Nuclear Arms". New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
^ Anderson, Cooper (December 31, 2004). "Transcripts: New Year's Eve
Special". CNN. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ VandeHei, Jim; Robin Wright (April 22, 2005). "Powell Playing Quiet
Role in Bolton Battle". Washington Post.
^ Borger, Julian (April 23, 2005). "Powell's remarks harm Bolton's
chances of UN job". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 3,
^ Blumenthal, Sidney (April 28, 2005). "The good soldier's revenge".
The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ "Powell criticises storm response". BBC News. September 9,
^ "Senators defy Bush on tribunals". BBC News. September 15, 2006.
Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ Wilken, Dennis (September 7, 2008). "Down the Rabbit Hole". American
Satellite Magazine. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
^ "Board of Directors". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved
December 6, 2007.
^ "islanderspointblank.com". islanderspointblank.com. Archived from
the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
^ "nhl.com". nhl.com. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
^ Powell, General Colin L, USA (Ret.) (July 8, 2008). "Keynote
Address – A New Vision for America's Future: Young Leaders
Shaping an International Agenda". CSIS Launch of Next America. Center
for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original on
July 31, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2008. CS1 maint: Multiple
names: authors list (link)
^ "Who Mentored Colin Powell?". President and Fellows of Harvard
^ "Al Gore, Colin Powell, Caroline Kennedy in Obama's Administration?
– Washington Whispers". usnews.com. November 11, 2008. Retrieved
August 29, 2010.
^ "Powell advised against Afghan surge", Politico (September 27,
^ Ingrid Lunden. "General
Colin Powell Joins Salesforce Board Of
Directors, As CRM Giant Zeros In On Public Sector". TechCrunch. AOL.
Retrieved August 27, 2015.
^ a b c Colin Powell's biography from 'On The Issues'.
^ DeYoung, Karen (February 3, 2010). "
Colin Powell shifts stance on
'don't ask, don't tell' policy". The Washington Post. Retrieved
February 3, 2010.
^ Blumenthal, Sidney (November 18, 2004). "Colin and the crazies". The
Guardian. London. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
^ "Sen. McCain Releases Letter from Gen. Colin Powell", Washington
Post (September 14, 2006).
^ "Colin Powell: Republican Party Needs Me More Than The Democratic
Party Needs Me". TheLonelyConservative.com. February 7, 2014.
Retrieved February 7, 2014.
^ See Official website: Aspen Ideas Festival
^ "Conversation with Colin Powell" (PDF). Aspen Ideas Festival. July
2007. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
^ a b "Powell: Support for Obama doesn't mean Iraq war wrong", CNN
(October 19, 2008).
^ James M. Klatell, "Powell: We Are Losing In Iraq", CBS (December 17,
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(July 5, 2009)
^ Henry, Ed (August 9, 2007). "Powell donates to McCain". CNN.
Retrieved August 9, 2007.
^ Holland, Steve (March 5, 2008). "McCain now has to pick a vice
presidential nominee". Boston Globe. Reuters. Retrieved April 14,
^ a b "Powell endorses Obama for president; Republican ex-Secretary of
State calls Democrat 'transformational figure'". Meet the Press. MSNBC
and NBC News. October 19, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
^ a b "Meet the Press' transcript for October 19, 2008". MSNBC.
October 19, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
^ Ohlemacher, Stephen (October 20, 2008). "
Colin Powell endorses
Barack Obama for president". USA Today. Retrieved August 29,
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2009. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
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Colin Powell critical of President Obama",
Politico (September 19, 2010).
^ "Video". CNN.
^  retrieved October 25, 2012.
^ "ABC News". Retrieved 2013-01-22.
Colin Powell slams Donald Trump's immigration plan. October 1, 2015.
Retrieved September 14, 2016.
Colin Powell: The GOP Race Has ‘Gone Into The Mud’. The Huffington
Post. March 7, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
Colin Powell Says Hillary Clinton's 'People Have Been Trying to Pin'
Email Scandal on Him. People Magazine. August 21, 2016. Retrieved
September 14, 2016.
Colin Powell calls Trump 'national disgrace' in hacked
^ Blumenthal, Paul (September 14, 2016). "
Colin Powell Attacked
Hillary Clinton's 'Hubris' In Leaked Emails". The Huffington
Here are the juiciest
Colin Powell comments about Trump and Clinton
from his hacked emails. The Washington Post. September 14, 2016.
Retrieved September 14, 2016.
^ https://www.facebook.com/aaronblakewp?fref=ts. "78 Republican
politicians, donors and officials who are supporting Hillary Clinton".
^ "Four Washington state electors break ranks and don't vote for
Clinton". December 19, 2016.
^ Powell, Colin (October 17, 2005). "Interview transcript". Larry King
Live (Interview). Interview with Larry King. CNN. Retrieved June 14,
^ Powell, Colin (August 2, 2004). "A Conversation with Colin Powell".
The Atlantic (Interview). Interview with P. J. O'Rourke. Washington,
D.C. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved June
Colin Powell insists ‘there was no affair then and there is not
one now’ with diplomat. NY Daily News. Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
^ National Winners public service awards. Jefferson Awards.org.
Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
Spingarn Medal Winners: 1915 to Today". naacp.org. Archived from
the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
^ "Colin L. Powell". The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished
Americans. n.d. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
Ronald Reagan Freedom Award".
Ronald Reagan Presidential
Foundation & Library. Archived from the original on October 16,
^ Powell, Colin (July 4, 2002). "2002
Liberty Medal Acceptance
Speech". Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: National
^ "GEN Colin Powell". March 8, 2016. Archived from the original on
March 8, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2017. CS1 maint: BOT:
original-url status unknown (link)
^ Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A
Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York. Prometheus Books.
^ According to the
Fort Bliss Bugle, as of 10/24/2013, nine schools
have been named for Colin Powell.
^ ":.: The Official Wings Of Hope Homepage :.:".
Wings-of-hope.org. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
^ efworld Archived August 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Powell: Friendship with Israel means friendship with Arabs" (PDF).
^ McDonald, Terrence T. (February 8, 2013). "Gov. Christie visits
Union City school opening, hears Democratic mayor praise him". NJ.com.
^ Wenik, Ian (June 9, 2013). "Saluting the general". The Union City
Reporter. pp. 1 and 11.
High Point University
High Point University National Board of Advisors".
LaFeber, Walter, "The Rise and Fall of
Colin Powell and the Powell
Doctrine", Political Science Quarterly, 124 (Spring 2009), 71–93.
Powell, Colin A. and Joseph Persico, My American Journey, Ballantine
Books, 1995. ISBN 0-345-40728-8.
Excerpts from My American Journey, TIME, September 18, 1995.
DeYoung, Karen, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, Alfred A. Knopf,
2006. ISBN 1-4000-4170-8.
"Alex Haley's Other Roots: African-Americans with Irish Ancestors".
February 25, 2006. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
Powell, Colin; Koltz, Tony (2012). It Worked for Me: Lessons in
Leadership and Life. Harper. ISBN 978-0062135124.
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Appearances on C-SPAN
Colin Powell on Charlie Rose
Colin Powell on IMDb
Colin Powell collected news and commentary". The New York
Colin Powell collected news and commentary". The Guardian.
Works by or about
Colin Powell in libraries (
Colin Powell: America's Best Leaders from U.S. News & World Report
Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
Colin Powell Quotes
African Americans in the U.S. Army
The American Presidency Project: Remarks on the Retirement of General
Colin Powell in Arlington, Virginia, September 30, 1993
Address to the National Summit on Africa, Washington, D.C., February
Remarks to the United Nations Security Council, February 5, 2003
Complete text, audio, video of Colin Powell's Remarks to the UN
Security Council AmericanRhetoric.com
"Curveball" Revelations Indicate falsified info used to start Iraq war
and esp used for Powell's UN presentation on Iraq WMDs, November 5,
Colin Powell demands answers over Curveball's WMD lies, Ed Pikington,
Helen Pidd and Martin Chulov, The Guardian, February 16, 2011
WARGS: Ancestry of Gen. Colin Powell
Deputy National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor
United States Secretary of State
Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Awards and achievements
Recipient of the
Ronald Reagan Freedom Award
Party political offices
Keynote Speaker of the Republican National Convention
Served alongside: John McCain
United States Secretaries of State
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Secretary of State
Cabinet of President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush (2001–09)
Secretary of State
Colin Powell (2001–05)
Condoleezza Rice (2005–09)
Secretary of the Treasury
Paul H. O'Neill
Paul H. O'Neill (2001–02)
John W. Snow
John W. Snow (2003–06)
Henry Paulson (2006–09)
Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld (2001–06)
Robert Gates (2006–09)
John Ashcroft (2001–05)
Alberto Gonzales (2005–07)
Michael Mukasey (2007–09)
Secretary of the Interior
Gale Norton (2001–06)
Dirk Kempthorne (2006–09)
Secretary of Agriculture
Ann Veneman (2001–05)
Mike Johanns (2005–07)
Ed Schafer (2008–09)
Secretary of Commerce
Donald Evans (2001–05)
Carlos Gutierrez (2005–09)
Secretary of Labor
Elaine Chao (2001–09)
Secretary of Health and
Tommy Thompson (2001–05)
Mike Leavitt (2005–09)
Secretary of Housing and
Mel Martinez (2001–03)
Alphonso Jackson (2003–08)
Steve Preston (2008–09)
Secretary of Transportation
Norman Mineta (2001–06)
Mary E. Peters
Mary E. Peters (2006–09)
Secretary of Energy
Spencer Abraham (2001–05)
Samuel Bodman (2005–09)
Secretary of Education
Rod Paige (2001–05)
Margaret Spellings (2005–09)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Anthony Principi (2001–05)
Jim Nicholson (2005–07)
James Peake (2007–09)
Secretary of Homeland Security
Tom Ridge (2003–05)
Michael Chertoff (2005–09)
Dick Cheney (2001–09)
White House Chief of Staff
Andrew Card (2001–06)
Joshua Bolten (2006–09)
Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency
Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman (2001–03)
Mike Leavitt (2003–05)
Stephen L. Johnson
Stephen L. Johnson (2005–09)
Director of the Office of
Management and Budget
Mitch Daniels (2001–03)
Joshua Bolten (2003–06)
Rob Portman (2006–07)
Jim Nussle (2007–09)
Director of National Drug
John P. Walters
John P. Walters (2001–09)
Robert Zoellick (2001–05)
Rob Portman (2005–06)
Susan Schwab (2006–09)
Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs
Recipients of the Soldier's Medal
James Leroy Bondsteel
William Francis Buckley
John Thomas Corley
Wayne A. Downing
Theodore Leslie Futch
Hershel W. Gober
John F. Goodman
David E. Grange Jr.
Edith Ellen Greenwood
William W. Hartzog
Patrick J. Hessian
Eli D. Hoyle
Otto Kerner Jr.
Darwin K. Kyle
Richard L. Lawson
Charles Andrew MacGillivary
William A. Matheny
Charles J. McDonnell
Jack N. Merritt
Leo J. Meyer
José Antonio Muñiz
Thomas Alexander Parrott
Frank D. Peregory
Edwin W. Rawlings
Stephen Silvasy Jr.
John K. Singlaub
Donn A. Starry
Joseph Warren Stilwell Jr.
Hugh Thompson Jr.
Clarence L. Tinker
Jack L. Treadwell
Leon L. Van Autreve
Samuel Tankersley Williams
Walter K. Wilson Jr.
Names are in alphabetical order
ISNI: 0000 0001 0858 8433
BNF: cb12496187m (data)