COLIN Powell, the first black US Secretary of State, said "don't feel sorry for me" in his final interview before he died of Covid complications.
Powell passed away at age 84 on October 18, nearly three months after his phone interview with journalist Bob Woodward.
As Powell spoke about his health issues, in the July 12 audio obtained by CNN, the retired four-star general told Woodward: "Don't say no and don't feel sorry for me, for god's sakes. I'm (almost) 85 years old.
"I haven't lost a day of life fighting these two diseases. I'm in good shape."
Powell was interviewed for the Watergate journalist's most recent book "Peril," which dubs the time around the 2020 election "one of the most dangerous periods in American history."
As Powell, who had Parkinson's, talked about his personal struggle with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer he was diagnosed with nearly two years ago, he explained how he drove himself to the hospital for exams.
He said: "I've taken lots of exams and I get there on my own. I drive up in my Corvette, get out of the Corvette, and go into the hospital.
"I also go to a clinic to get the blood tests taken.
"I don't advertise it, I don't make an announcement about it, but most of my friends know it."
In that same interview, Powell also touched on his relationship with his wife Alma Powell, the "greatest person he had ever known."
"We've been married 58 years. And she put up with a lot," Powell explained. "She took care of the kids when I was, you know, running around. And she was always there for me."
He is survived by his wife Alma Powell, their children, and his grandchildren.
Read our Colin Powell live blog for the very latest news and updates…
The Powell family announced his death on Monday in a Facebook post.
"General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19," Powell's family wrote.
"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American," the family said, noting he was fully vaccinated.
According to CNN's Jake Tapper, Powell was fighting multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body's immune response, which was a profound challenge when he contracted Covid.
The Powell family confirmed the former US secretary of state died at Walter Reed National Medical Center, where he was receiving treatment.
Before Barack Obama was elected president, Powell and his successor, Condoleezza Rice, were the highest-ranking African Americans in the history of the federal executive branch.
Powell became the first black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency,
He was also the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.
President Joe Biden expressed his condolences to the Powell family in a statement, saying the 84-year-old "embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat."
"Jill and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity, General Colin Powell.
"Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat. He was committed to our nation’s strength and security above all. Having fought in wars, he understood better than anyone that military might alone was not enough to maintain our peace and prosperity."
"From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation’s policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong."
Biden also ordered flags to be lowered in honor of General Powell through sunset on October 22.
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