Alma Powell Biography – Wiki
Alma Powell was married to General Colin L. Powell for almost 60 years. She died on October 18, 2021, due to complications from Covid-19, she shared her family on Facebook. She was 84 years old. Powell made history as the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, as the New York Times noted.
His family shared on Facebook that Powell was fully vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. According to CBS News, Alma Powell also had a revolutionary case but has responded well to treatments.
Alma Vivian Johnson Powell was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. According to the Birmingham Black History Project, she was born on October 27, 1937, and was the eldest daughter of Mildred Elisa Bell and Robert Charles Johnson.
The organization says she graduated from Parker High School, where her father was the principal, in 1954. Powell went to college when she was just 16 years old. She attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1957.
Powell’s next move was to Boston, Massachusetts. She attended graduate school at Emerson College, where she worked as a speech pathologist, according to the Birmingham Black History Project, and hosted a radio show called “Lunching with Alma.”
She also worked for the Boston Guild for the Hard of Hearing as a staff audiologist, according to her biography in America’s Promise Alliance.
Alma Powell is 84-years-old & Her husband has died at the age of 84-years-old.
Alma Powell has Received Multiple Awards
According to her biography, Alma Powell has received multiple awards for her advocacy work. She received a Leadership Award from the Virginia Women’s Center, the Edward A. Bouchet Legacy Award from Howard University, a 2009 Inspire Honoree Award by AARP The Magazine, and was previously named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine.
Alma Powell is also a children’s author. Her two books, “My Little Wagon and America’s Promise,” were published in 2003.
The Couple Met on a Blind Date & Married the Same Year
Alma and Colin Powell met in Boston. According to an interview she gave to The History Makers, the couple went on a blind date in 1962.
The couple did not wait long to get married. They were married on August 25, 1962, in Alma Powell’s hometown.
Colin Powell was a second lieutenant in the US Army at the time, according to a State Department biography. The Chicago Tribune reports that the couple had been married for four months when they were sent to Vietnam. Alma Powell was pregnant with her first child and she went to live with her parents in Birmingham while her husband was abroad.
Alma Powell Children
Colin and Alma Powell raised three children together. Their first son, Michael, was born in 1963 in Birmingham while Colin Powell was serving in Vietnam, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Alma Powell explained to the newspaper that due to the inconsistency in the delivery of the mail, it took weeks for her to share the news of her birth with her husband. “Our son, Michael, was 3 weeks old before Colin knew he had a son. He got the letter from his mother (with the news) before mine. ”
Michael Powell also pursued a career in the civil service. He served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the early 2000s, according to his current biography. He also served as Chief of Staff of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Defense, and as an armored cavalry officer in the U.S. Army. He is now the Chairman and CEO of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. He is married with two children, according to Grand Magazine.
Alma and Colin Powell’s eldest daughter, Linda, was born in 1966. According to her IMDB profile, she became an actress in New York City.
Her second daughter is Annemarie. She worked as a television news producer, the Washington Post reported. She is married with two children, Grand Magazine reported in 2011.
Children’s Advocate & Author
Alma Powell has spent much of her time advocating for children. She and her husband founded America’s Promise Alliance in 1997, AARP reported. The alliance supports children’s organizations in the United States.
As explained on America’s Promise Alliance website, Alma Powell said she believed that education has the power to change the trajectory of people’s lives, in part due to the example of her own family. The website explains:
As Mrs. Powell has told audiences across the country, her grandfather was born into slavery, and her grandmother was born just after slavery ended. Against enormous odds, both earned college degrees — then saw their five children through college, too. In the process, they altered the course of her family.
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For adults and children alike, Mrs. Powell’s story is a testament to the truths that are essential to our work: History is not destiny and education builds pathways.
Threatened to Leave Her Husband
General Colin Powell will be remembered in the history books for his groundbreaking roles and, as CBS News reported, he was respected across the political spectrum. But he never sought the highest office in the nation.
According to the book “Bush at War” by Bob Woodward, Alma Powell did not want to be First Lady because she feared for the safety of her husband. The BBC, citing the book, reported that Alma Powell threatened to leave her husband if she ran for the Republican nomination. She reportedly told him: “If you run, I’m going.”
Colin Powell retired from the military in 1993 and wrote an autobiography called “My American Journey.” During a 1995 tour to promote the book, according to the BBC, he stated that pursuing a White House offer was not in the cards. “Running for president requires a passion and commitment that, despite all my efforts, I still don’t have,” he said.