Colin Powell funeral: Watch live as Biden, ex-presidents and other dignitaries honor trailblazer

Colin Powell, the first Black secretary of state and a barrier-breaking military commander who died last month, will be remembered Friday in a funeral service at Washington National Cathedral.

The funeral is scheduled to begin at noon but is not open to the public. It will be livestreamed here.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Powell's former deputy secretary Richard Armitage and Powell's son Michael all are scheduled to deliver eulogies honoring Powell's life at Friday's service. President Joe Biden also is expected to attend but will not speak.

Powell died Oct. 18 at Walter Reed National Medical Center of COVID-19-related complications. He was 84. He was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that makes it difficult to fight infections.

Colin Powell, who recently died of complications from COVID-19 while being treated for cancer, was the first Black secretary of state.

Born in New York City to Jamaican immigrants, Powell rose to become the first African American and youngest chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989 and eventually the nation's top diplomat under former President George W. Bush in 2001.

His service at the top levels of government spanned four presidential administrations.


More: Who was Colin Powell? The legacy, family of America's first Black secretary of state

Powell served two combat tours in Vietnam before climbing the ranks and overseeing the first Gulf War in 1990-1991, when American and allied forces drove Iraq's invading military from Kuwait.

His distinguished military career was later tarnished by his tenure as the nation's chief diplomat during the Bush administration. Bush led the U.S. into the second Iraq war in 2003 based on faulty assertions that Saddam Hussein's government had weapons of mass destruction.

After initially resisting the push to invade Iraq, Powell told the United Nations that Saddam Hussein's government had chemical and biological weapons and an active nuclear program. But no weapons were ever found in Iraq.

Powell later called that a "blot" on his career.

Deirdre Shesgreen, Matthew Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Live video of Colin Powell funeral: President, dignitaries pay tribute