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HomeVideoWATCH: Colin Powell's rise through the military and the legacy he left...

WATCH: Colin Powell’s rise through the military and the legacy he left behind

Despite being a very average young student, Colin Powell rose through the ranks of the military quickly and became a well respected diplomat, achieving many firsts along the way, including the first Black chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first Black national security adviser and the first Black secretary of State. Powell “was a larger than life figure and made enormous contributions to the United States,” Richard Kohn, a military historian and the former chief historian for the U.S. Air Force, told PBS NewsHour digital anchor Nicole Ellis ahead of a Nov. 5 funeral honoring his life. Powell died in October at age 84 from complications related to COVID-19. Powell’s legacy was not without stain, notably an appearance in front of the United Nations in which he cited faulty evidence that Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction. But he was held in such high regard throughout his life “for the values that he promoted,” Kohn said.

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