Why is Colin Powell famous?

After being born in Harlem and growing up in South Bronx, General Colin Powell was the first ever African American to appointed Secretary of State. He has been National Security Adviser and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has earned many medals and ribbons as well as several foreign decorations. He served in Vietnam and was badly injured. He has overseen almost 30 military crisis situations. Many people view him as a highly intelligent man of strong moral fiber.


Born April 5, 1937, Colin Powell is a retired US Army General. He became the 65th United States Secretary of State in January 2001 under President George W. Bush. Prior to this time, Powell served as both National Security Advisor (1987-1989) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993).

Public Diplomacy

As Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, Powell's work and actions have had a profound affect on both the nation and much of global society. On February 5, 2003, Powell delivered an address to the United Nations Security Council detailing the US government's motivations for confronting Iraq.

"What you will see is an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior. The facts on Iraqis' behavior - Iraq's behavior demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort - no effort - to disarm as required by the international community. Indeed, the facts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction?

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on December 25, 2005, the former Secretary of State spoke of recent revelations of a national eavesdropping program initiated following the attacks of 9/11. When asked if the government was overstepping its boundaries in monitoring the phone calls of the nation's citizens, Powell responded, "in the aftermath of 9/11, the American people had one concern, and that was protect us. And so I see absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions.?

In May 2006, Powell donated $1 million to The City College of New York to further establish the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies, which was first created in 1997. For an overview of the school and it goals, please see (Press Releases) regarding Powell's contributions.

retrieved from: http://publicdiplomacy.wikia.com/wiki/Colin_Powel, accessed on 10/19/08 9:14 pm ET

Military medals and ribbons

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Distinguished Service Medal, Army (with Oak Leaf Cluster) Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster) Soldier's Medal Bronze Star Purple Heart Air Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters) Presidential Medal of Freedom (order of precedence, if worn) no image Presidential Citizens Medal (order of precedence, if worn)

National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)

Vietnam Service Medal (with 1 Silver Service Star) Army Service Ribbon Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with numeral 3)

Foreign decorations

  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) (United Kingdom)
  • L├ęgion d'honneur (France)
  • Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.) (Canada)
  • Order of Stara Planina in the First Order (Bulgaria)[8][9

Civilian awards

Powell's civilian awards includes two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal, and the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award. Several schools and other institutions have been named in his honor and he holds honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country.

  • In 1991, Powell was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans,[47] which "honors the achievements of outstanding individuals in U.S. society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education."
  • On November 9, 1993, Powell was awarded the second Ronald Reagan Freedom Award, by President Ronald Reagan. Powell served as Reagan's National Security Advisor from 1987-1989.[48]
  • On December 15, 1993, Colin Powell was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
  • In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States Military Academy for his commitment to the ideals of "Duty, Honor, Country."
  • The 2002 Liberty Medal was awarded to Colin Powell on July 4th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In his acceptance speech, Powell reminded Americans that "It is for America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, to help freedom ring across the globe, unto all the peoples thereof. That is our solemn obligation, and we will not fail."[49]
  • The Coat of Arms of Colin Powell was granted by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh on February 4, 2004. Technically the grant was to Powell's father (a British subject) to be passed on by descent. Scotland's King of Arms is traditionally responsible for granting arms to Commonwealth citizens. Blazoned as:
  • "The swords and stars refer to the former general's career, as does the crest, which is the badge of the 101st Airborne (which he served as a brigade commander in the mid-1970s). The lion may be an allusion to Scotland. The shield can be shown surrounded by the insignia of an honorary Knight Commander of the Most honorable Order of the Bath (KCB), an award the General received after the first Gulf War.
  • In 2005 Powell received the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award for his contributions to Africa.
  • AARP honored Powell with the 2006 AARP Andrus Award, the Association's highest honor. This award, named in honor of AARP's founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, is presented biennially to distinguished individuals who have generated positive social change in the world, and whose work and achievements reflect AARP's vision of bringing lifetimes of experience and leadership to serve all generations.
  • In 2005 Colin and Alma Powell were awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Colin Powell was initiated as an honorary brother in Sigma Phi Epsilon.
  • Powell is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America.
  • A street in Gelnhausen, Germany was named after him: "General-Colin-Powell-Strasse"[50].