General Colin Powell was a giant, someone who devotedly served America’s values and democracy from the middle of the 20th Century until well into the 21st. As a child of immigrants growing up in New York, he sought a better life first at City College of New York and then in the U.S. Army. As a soldier, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, Powell supported and shaped American foreign policy in times of war and peace. And as leader of America’s Promise—a grantee of The Rockefeller Foundation—he fought to ensure the American dream was accessible to everyone.
Through it all, Powell demonstrated a deep belief that embodying America’s values is the best way to promote them—that actions in our communities and for our country speak far louder than words. In recent years, he was particularly supportive of The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission and work. In his daily life and decades of leadership, Powell made clear that every voice, every institution can make a difference. On behalf of everyone at The Rockefeller Foundation, I send my condolences to his wife Alma and their family.