George W. Bush Shares A Heartfelt Tribute To Colin Powell

He made history during two Bush administrations; not only as the first Black person to be named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush, but also the first as Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush. A respected four-star general who not only broke barriers in the military, but who became a respected advisor across party lines, Colin Powell's death dealt a heavy blow on the political stage(via The Daily Beast).

George W. Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney — who Powell once said was so much like him "we could finish each other's sentences" (via New York Post) — released a statement following Powell's passing. "I'm deeply saddened to learn that America has lost a leader and statesman. General Powell had a remarkably distinguished career, and I was fortunate to work with him. He was a man who loved his country and served her long and well."

Cheney added: "Working with him during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I saw first-hand General Powell's dedication to the United States and his commitment to the brave and selfless men and women who serve our country in uniform. 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" "(via Wyoming News).

Bush considered Colin Powell a friend

But it was the affection the Bushes had for Powell that was unmistakably present in the statement George W. Bush released to mark the passing of a man former British Prime Minister John Major called "one of the finest Americans never to be president," per Reuters.

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell," the former president wrote, detailing Powell's career. "He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. Many presidents relied on General Powell's counsel and experience. He was National Security Adviser under President Reagan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under my father and President Clinton, and Secretary of State during my Administration."

The former president added: "He was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom -– twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend." (via CNN).