United States Secretary of State
"Challenge young people by having high expectations
of them; engage them with the opportunity to realize those expectations
through constructive, character-building activities."
Colin Powell was born in New York
City on April 5, 1937. General Powell served as the 12th Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, from October
1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, under both President George Bush
and President Bill Clinton.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was raised in the South Bronx.
He was educated in the New York City public schools, and at City
College of New York (CCNY). He participated in ROTC at CCNY and
received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation.
He subsequently received a Master of Business Administration degree
from George Washington University.
Powell served two tours of duty in Vietnam, and as a battalion commander
in Korea. He later commanded the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
(Air Asssault) and V Corps, United States Army, Europe. Prior to
being named as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he served
as the Commander in Chief, Forces Command, headquartered at Fort
General Powell has been the recipient of numerous U.S. military
decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal,
Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart. His civilian awards include
the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal,
and an honorary knighthood (Knight Commander of the Bath) from the
Queen of England. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1993.
General Powell was selected by President George W. Bush as his Secrerary
of State in January, 2001. Powell is the first African-American
to hold this high office in the United States Government.
Powell is also chairman of America's Promise, an organization that
challenges Americans to scale up their investment in youth, and
committed to making America's youth a national priority. He is also
a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University, and of the
Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund. He serves on
the Board of Governors of The Boys & Girls Clubs of America
a member of the Advisory Board of the Children's Health Fund.
Secretary Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of
Birmingham, Alabama. The Powell family includes son Michael and
daughters Linda and Annemarie; daughter-in-law Jane, and grandsons
Jeffrey and Bryan.