In 1995, when retired General Colin Powell took himself out of the running for President of the United States, he was leading every candidate in every poll. At the time, his autobiography, My American Journey, was a national bestseller. Millions of Americans have been inspired by his life story, from his boyhood in the South Bronx, through service in Vietnam, to his term as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. General Powell was the first African-American and the youngest officer ever to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ranking officer in the United States military. Most Americans got their first vivid impressions of General Powell in this role, at his televised press briefings during the 1991 Gulf War. His articulate, forthright manner and unassuming dignity made him a favorite of statesmen, journalists and the general public. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him Secretary of State, a position that placed him at the head of America's foreign policy, and fourth in line of succession to the Presidency itself. He served throughout the first term of the Bush administration, a period that included the September 2001 attacks on the United States and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He remains one of the most admired Americans, a leader whose prestige transcends party and ideology. For over 20 years, he has been at the center of the most momentous events of our time.