Colin Powell, the first Black secretary of state in the United States government and a retired four-star general, died of Covid-19 complications on Monday morning, his family announced. He was 84.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” a statement by Powell’s family on Facebook read. The statement added that Powell was fully vaccinated.

Powell became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989, AP reported. During his tenure, the United States invaded Panama, and later invaded Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army.

He became the secretary of state in 2000 under George W Bush’s tenure as the US president, according to AFP.

In 2003, he defended the US government’s invasion of Iraq before the United Nations Security Council. He spoke about the existence of alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but the claim was later proven to be false.

In an interview to ABC News in 2005, Powell said that the speech was a blot that tarnished his reputation.

“I’m the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record,” he said. “It was painful. It’s painful now.”