This week America mourned the passing of a Black man of many firsts. Colin Powell was the first Black national security adviser, the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black secretary of state. Powell died on Monday (Oct. 18) at age 84 from COVID-19 complications after suffering from a number of illnesses in recent years including multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, and Parkinson's disease.
His family’s official statement said, “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great America.”
Many have taken to social media to share their thoughts and memories of one of the country’s top military minds, and diplomat, including Powell’s daughter, Linda Powell.
In a touching tribute, she posted a family photo on Instagram that recalled her childhood growing up in the close-knit Powell family. It shows a youthful Colin Powell, his wife Alma, and their three children: Linda, Annemarie and Michael.
“This was us,” Linda captioned the photo, likely from the 1970s. “My heartbroken family thanks you for all your thoughts and prayers.”
Powell had a legendary35-year military career. The son of Jamaican immigrants and born in the Bronx, NY, Powell became the military’s top ranking officer in 1989 when, as a four-star general, he was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He made history as the first Black officer to hold the prestigious position.
He reportedly met his wife, Alma on a blind date when he was a young officer. The couple married in August 1962. Their union produced three children and four grandchildren.
“The parental units 58 years married today,” Linda wrote in 2020, marking her parents’ wedding anniversary.
Powell was a trailblazer. His resume also included serving as the nation’s first Black national security adviser and secretary of state.
"It never occurred to me that my father was ambitious, which sounds like a silly thing to say," Linda Powell told The Baltimore Sun in 2001.
He was just dad to her, and she was a #daddysgirl.
“Celebrating the pater familias (which in Latin means the father of a family),” she captioned in this daddy-daughter photograph below.