Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
October 18, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement today on the passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell: 

“America has lost a leader the likes of which our country needs. 

“Like many Americans, I was devastated to learn the news this morning that Colin Powell has passed away. Few national leaders have been able to command the respect of Americans regardless of party or ideology. Few have been able to bridge our divides in recent decades to become nearly universally admired. Secretary Powell was the rare exception, earning accolades for his steady leadership of our military, his calm and reassuring demeanor as a diplomat, and his strong moral convictions in every pursuit. He will long be remembered as a great American who dedicated his life in service to his nation. 
“A trailblazer, he was the first African-American to serve as National Security Advisor, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as Secretary of State. The son of immigrants from New York, Secretary Powell brought with him the work ethic and sense of personal responsibility he learned in his early days and applied them to making our country safer, stronger, and more just. When he crossed the aisle to endorse Barack Obama to be our nation’s first African-American president, it meant something to the many Republicans and Democrats who had hoped they might cast such a vote for him years earlier. When he rejected Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and failed leadership, it sent a powerful message to many in the Republican Party with which Secretary Powell had long been associated and sought to rescue from extremism and demagoguery. 
“My thoughts are with his beloved wife Alma, their children, and the entire Powell family – including his son, my dear friend Michael, who continues to serve his country in a way that made his father proud. I join with millions of Americans who are deeply saddened by this loss, which is made all the more devastating by the circumstances. It ought to be a reminder to us all that we are far from finished in overcoming this pandemic - and that we would benefit from the kind of unity in the face of challenge that Secretary Powell promoted throughout his extraordinary life.”