KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell died Monday morning. His family said in a statement Powell died due to complications from COVID-19. They added he was fully vaccinated.

Former Knoxville mayor Madeline Rogero said she worked with Powell’s staff. Before taking office, she served as the executive director of nonprofit Knoxville’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. It was a local branch of the nationwide movement Powell founded.

“I was so impressed because you could tell how closely he had listened because as he responded, he kept weaving in the stories that we had shared with him,” Rogero said.

She recalled the first time she met Powell in February 2000. Rogero gave a presentation then about the Knoxville nonprofit affiliated with Powell’s America’s Promise. Monday morning, she thought about that meeting after learning Powell died.

“I was really saddened to hear that he had passed. He was only in his 80s. Had the vaccines. So it was just very, very tragic, in my opinion, I think he still had a lot left to give to us as a nation and as individuals,” said Rogero.

As Rogero reflects on his legacy, so did WATE political analyst George Korda. He detailed Powell’s groundbreaking accomplishments.

“He was the first Black American to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the first Black American to be Secretary of State. He set an example through what he said throughout his life, which is perseverance and hard work are what it takes to succeed,” Korda said.

You can read more about Powell’s service, here.

STAY INFORMED: Download: the WATE 6 On Your Side News and Weather Apps