“He was a great public servant, starting with this time as a solider during Vietnam,” wrote former President George W. Bush. “Many presidents relied on General Powell's counsel and experience.”
Powell, who served in the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of State was a National Security Adviser for President Ronald Reagan, a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton.
“He was highly respected at home and abroad,” Bush wrote. “And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend,” Bush wrote. “Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
A Republican, Powell served in George W. Bush's first term as Secretary of State and resigned in 2004 after Bush was re-elected. He was replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney also remembered Powell in a statement.
“I'm deeply saddened to learn that America has lost a leader and statesman,” he wrote, praising his “remarkablly distinguished career. ”
“He was a man who loved his country and served her long and well,” he added.
Cheney praised Powell's service during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Iraq, despite famously clashing over the war effort.
“Colin was a trailblazer and role model for so many: the son of immigrants who rose to become National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Secretary of State,” he wrote.
Powell earned respect from Democrats after he endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama for president in 2008 over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and endorsed him again for reelection in 2012.
In 2016, Powell endorsed Hillary Clinton for President over Donald Trump and in 2020 he endorsed Joe Biden, delivering a speech for Biden at the Democrat National Convention.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) also issued a statement on social media, praising Powell as a “tested and historic leader.”
“As a soldier, diplomat, and dedicated public servant, General Powell put our country before political partisanship and worked every day to make it a stronger and safer place,” she wrote.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin remembered Powell as a “tremendous personal friend and mentor.”
“The world lost one of the greatest leaders we have ever witnessed,” he wrote, adding, “we will certainly miss and I feel as if I have a hole in my heart.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) described Powell in a statement as “a great public servant and American patriot” and a “trailblazer” that inspired others.
“While I am heartbroken to hear of his passing, I am grateful for his life of service that touched not only our nation, but every corner of the world,” he wrote. I salute his legacy and know that it will live on for generations to come.”
Former President Jimmy Carter remembered Powell as a “true patriot and public service, recalling working with him on issues of conflicts in Haiti and elections observations in Jamaica.
“His courage and integrity will be an inspiration for generations to come,” he wrote.
“We will keep his family in our prayers during this difficult time.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence described Powell as “a true American Patriot.” “Karen and I are praying for his wife, Alma, and the entire Powell family,” he wrote in a statement.