On visits to Long Island, General Colin Powell had a knack for breaking news

General Colin Powell grew up in Harlem, the son of Jamaican immigrants, and raised in the South Bronx.

But when Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – who died of complications from COVID-19 on Monday while battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer – wanted to break the news, he often surrendered in Long Island.

In 1999, the Four Star Army General traveled to Woodbury to launch the now dormant Long Island Works Coalition to help bridge the communication and employment gap between the business world and academia.

In October 2016, Powell, speaking to a crowd of over 1,000 at a luncheon hosted by the Long Island Association, the region’s largest business group, announced his support for the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against presidential candidate Donald Trump, citing her experience, intelligence and endurance.

And the following year, Powell, keynote speaker at the inaugural event of the Global Institute at Long Island University in Brookville, called President Trump’s proposed budget cuts “ridiculous” and suggested they might hamper efforts to promote diplomacy.

“We have had the extraordinary opportunity to welcome General Colin Powell four times to the Long Island Association during his distinguished career,” said Matthew Cohen, group president and CEO. “We learned of his dedication to this country and his experiences as Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was not only brilliant but very warm and engaging, and well received by the business community of Long Island. “

Powell’s most high-profile visit to the region came less than two weeks before the 2016 election, when he backed Clinton, whom he privately criticized in hacked personal emails, calling her “” intelligent “and competent”.

The general said Trump was “unqualified” for the role of commander-in-chief and had sold the Americans a “goods bill” that he could not deliver.

“He insulted America in an almost everyday way,” said Powell, who served as secretary of state under Republican President George W. Bush. “He insulted Latin Americans. He insulted African Americans. He insulted women. He insulted his own party. He insulted our allies in the world one by one. He insulted veterans.”

On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul ordered that the flags of all state buildings be lowered to their mid-length in honor of Powell, noting that he “paved the way for others throughout his decades of service in the United States “.

Meanwhile, the Long Island congressional delegation mourned Powell’s passing.

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) called him “a man of principle who led a life of service and leadership, never forgetting where he came from.” Representative Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) said the country “will always be grateful for Secretary Powell’s life of service and his steadfast leadership in difficult times.”

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport) said Powell “has lived a distinguished life dedicated to serving our nation” while Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said the nation was “forever grateful for his immense uniformed service to our country. “

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