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Colin and Alma Powell Marriage Profile

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Alm and Colin Powell in 2005

Alma and Colin Powell in New York City, New York on April 7, 2005.

Photo: Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images
Said to have a strong marriage, Colin and Alma Powell were married just two weeks after he proposed. Here is information about how Colin and Alma met, their children, and more.
Marriage Fast Facts - Alma and Colin
Met: 1961.
Married: August 25, 1962.
First Marriage: Yes.

Did You Know?
They had two wedding receptions.

News Updates:

8/01/2013: After a computer hacker revealed some of Powell's emails, former Secretary of State Colin Powell denied having an affair with Romanian politician and diplomat, Corina Cretu. Read Full Statement by Colin Powell

Born:

Colin Luther Powell: April 5, 1937 in Harlem, New York.

Alma Vivian Johnson: October 27, 1937 in Birmingham, Alabama.

How Colin and Alma Met:

Colin met Alma Vivian Johnson on a blind date in November 1961 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first blind date for both of them. Colin called the next day and asked her out again.
Colin: "I was mesmerized by a pair of luminous eyes, an unusual shade of green."
Source: Colin L. Powell. My American Journey. 1995. page 62.
Colin about his proposal: "Alma had everything I would ever want in a wife. I was a jerk for not acting before she got away. This nonsense that if the Army wanted you to have a wife it would have issued you one had to go ... Alma must have loved me because I was not a romantic suitor. I did not even buy her an engagement ring ... She was wise enough to know that the trappings tell little about success in marriage. "Don't worry about the ring," she told me. "You can make it up to me later." Which I eventually did, with a fairly nice rock."
Source: Colin L. Powell. My American Journey. 1995. page 67.

Wedding Date:

Two weeks after Colin proposed, he and Alma were married on August 25, 1962 at the First Congregational Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Reverend J. Clyde Perry performed the ceremony where they exchanged simple gold wedding bands. Colin's friend Ronnie Brooks was best man and Alma's sister, Barbara, was maid of honor. Colin wore a summer tan uniform for the ceremony and Alma wore a white wedding dress. Colin refers to their wedding as "My luckiest day."
Wedding Photo

They had two wedding receptions. The first reception was at Alma's parent's home and lasted less than an hour. Later, after their honeymoon, their second reception was in New York and lasted from the early afternoon to around four in the morning.

Colin had a three-day pass for the wedding so they didn't go far for a honeymoon. They spent their honeymoon at the A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama. Four months later, Colin was deployed to Vietnam.

Children:

  • Michael Kevin Powell: Born in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. Colin first saw Michael when the baby was 8 months old.
  • Linda Margaret Powell: Born in 1965 in Birmingham, Alabama. Actress.
  • Annemarie Powell: Born in 1970. Television producer.

Residences:

After moving numerous times throughout their marriage, Colin and Alma settled in McLean, Virginia. Their first home was in Dale City, Virginia where they lived for seven years.

Occupations:

Alma: Audiologist, radio show host of "Luncheon With Alma", Chair of America’s Promise, author.

Colin: 1958-1993, U.S. Army; 1987-1989, National Security Advisor; 1989-1993, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; 2001-2005, Secretary of State; public speaker, author.

Quotes About the Marriage of Alma and Colin Powell:

Colin on interracial marriage: "The older generation knows what the younger generation may still have to learn. Making a marriage work is tough enough even under ideal conditions. You do not need to make it tougher."
Source: Colin L. Powell. My American Journey. 1995. page 369.

Alma: "Our marriage is based on mutual trust and respect. We always support one another in any undertaking. Put simply, Being There!"
Source: Kitty Pope. Beside Every Great Man ... is a great woman. 2005. page 106.

Colin about being away from his family: "I felt a confusion of emotions on leaving the house at Dale City, loss at missing out on the beautiful moments in my children's growing-up, a touch of guilt at not bearing my share of the responsibility, and even a twinge of regret that they all seemed to be doing fine without me."
Source: Colin L. Powell. My American Journey. 1995. page 196.

Colin: "Whatever I do," he recently told Ebony magazine, "we will do as a team. [The presidency] is the only job in public life where the spouse gets a title and a role to perform. And so we both will have to be comfortable with it."
Source: Evan Thomas. "The General's Lady." Newsweek. 11/13/1995.

Bob Woodward: "Running for president, becoming president, making Mrs. Powell first lady was not what she wanted for her life. 'You will have to do it alone,' she said."
Source: Bob Woodward. "Powell's wife vetoed presidential bid.". BBC.co.uk. 11/21/2002.

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