Powell, Colin

An American military leader and statesman. After serving with distinction in the Vietnam War, Powell rose through the military to become the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and played a key role in the Persian Gulf War. In 2001 he was appointed secretary of state, the first African-American to hold that position.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.