Colin Powell (1937- )

A retired four-star general of the United States Army, Colin Powell was born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx. He earned a B.S. from City College of New York in 1958 and an MBA from George Washington University in 1971 following his second tour in Vietnam. Upon graduation, Powell participated in the White House fellowship program under President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1973. From 1987 to 1989, he served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan. He became the 12th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989, holding the position until 1993. After George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election, he made Powell the first African-American Secretary of State, a position he held until retiring in 2005.