Colin Powell

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Colin Powell was born in New York City on April 5, 1937, the son of Jamaican immigrants, Luther and Maud Powell. Unknown at the time, this child would face many feats and conquer them, and although unexpected, as a young black boy, would grow up to be one of America's greatest military leaders and citizens. Luther Powell emigrated from Jamaica in his early twenties on a banana boat. The second of nine children born to a poor family he left his family and a menial job like the millions before him to be something more and to give his children a better start then he had. After holding several jobs he found a job in Manhattan's garment district working in the stockroom working his way up to become foreman of the shipping department. Maud McKoy Powell was the eldest of nine children, came from a slightly elevated social station in Jamaica, and had a high school education. Maud's mother Gram McKoy left Jamaica in search of work first in Panama, then Cuba, before coming to the United States. Once settled she sent for Maud the two of them worked as maids and as garment-district pieceworkers so they could send money to Jamaica for the other children. In order to earn a few extra dollars Gram also took in relatives and other Jamaican immigrants as borders, one of whom was Luther Powell. Colin Powell grew up largely at 952 Kelly Street in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. It was not a white picket fence neighborhood, but he enjoyed a secure childhood, looked after by a closely knit family and a multi-ethnic community. Colin is described as happy-go-lucky kid, average, amenable, amialble and aimless. It was hard for him to get motivated every day in school. But his parents insisted that he do his homework every day and that he do his very best in school every day. Education in his family was seen as an escape hatch, the way up and out of the tenements for West Indians. Colin Powell graduated from Morris High School in 1954 and went on to receive his...
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