Colin Powell epitomizes the American success story, yet his heroism is uncommon and unique. Born in New York City to Jamaican-immigrant parents, Powell entered a recently desegregated army, rising to become its highest-ranking member. He is a Republican at a time when a vast majority of African Americans consider themselves Democrats. He is one of the most famous Americans alive, yet has spent much of his professional life in behind-the-scenes positions. Beginning with his humble origins, this biography traces Powell's experiences from childhood, moving from his early days in the military through his climb to the highest echelons of power in Washington D.C. A timeline clarifies the key events in Powell's life and career, and a bibliography covers print and electronic sources for further research. This concise biography is ideal for students and general readers interested in the story behind one of America's most important and respected citizens, and the struggles an African American must face and overcome to succeed in contemporary America.