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Colin Powell was the first African American appointed as the U.S. Secretary of State, and the first, and so far the only, to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After growing up on the streets of the South Bronx, Colin Powell rose through the military ranks to become the 65th U.S. Secretary of State and the first African American appointed to the position.
Condoleezza Rice grew up in Jim Crow Alabama and went on to become the first female National Security Advisor and the first African-American female United States Secretary of State.
A short biography of Bill Clinton's rise to political power, his marriage to Hillary Clinton, his impeachment due to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and his involvement in recreating the Democratic Party's image.
President Ronald Reagan lead the United States during the end of the Cold War and left an unforgettable legacy. He’s considered by many conservatives to be the greatest American President.
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Colin Luther Powell is a United States statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State (2001-2005), serving under President George W. Bush. He was the first African American appointed to that position. He was the first, and so far the only, African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours."
Military official/diplomat. Born Colin Luther Powell on April 5, 1937, in Harlem, New York. The son of Jamaican immigrants Luther and Maud Powell, Colin was raised in the South Bronx. Powell was educated in the New York City public schools, and graduated from Morris High School in 1954 without any definite plans for where he wanted to go in life. It was at City College of New York, where Powell studied geology, that he found his calling—in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). He soon became commander of his unit. This experience set him on a military career and gave him structure and direction in his life.
After graduation in 1958, Powell was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. While stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, Colin Powell met Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama, and they married in 1962. The couple now has three children: son Michael, and daughters Linda and Annemarie. That same year, he was one of 16,000 advisers sent to South Vietnam by President John Kennedy. In 1963, Powell was wounded by a punji-stick booby trap while patrolling the Vietnamese-Laotian border. During this first tour of duty, he was awarded a Purple Heart and, a year later, a Bronze Star.
While on his second Vietnam tour of duty from 1968 to 1969, the 31-year-old Army major was given the assignment of investigating the My Lai massacre. In this incident, more than 300 civilians were killed by U.S. Army forces. Colin Powell's report seemed to refute the allegations of wrongdoing and stated, "Relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Also during this tour in Vietnam, Powell was injured in a helicopter crash. Despite his injury, he managed to rescue his comrades from the burning helicopter, for which he was awarded the Soldier's Medal. In all, Powell has received 11 military decorations, including the Legion of Merit.
Powell earned an MBA at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., and won a White House fellowship in 1972. He was assigned to the Office of Management and Budget during the Nixon administration and made a lasting impression on Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci. Both men would consult Powell for advice when they served as secretary of defense and national security adviser, respectively, in the Reagan administration.
Colonel Colin Powell served a tour of duty in Korea in 1973 as a battalion commander and after that, he obtained a staff job at the Pentagon. After study at the Army War College, he was promoted to brigadier general and commanded a brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.
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America wouldn't be what it is today without Hollywood, and it certainly wouldn't be the same without its armed forces. Military veterans make the ultimate contribution to society—they put their lives on the line for their country. Since the nation's founding, the dedication and bravery of soldiers has been the a key pillar on which the United States stands. From Revolutionary War heroes to Vietnam veterans, here's a look at famous military veterans.
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