Colin Powell remembers

Colin Powell died yesterday at the age of 84. His life makes for a great American story. He gave his memoir the apt title An American Journey. Born in the South Bronx, as a teenager he worked at the “Everything For the Baby” store owned by Jay Sickser, a Russian Jewish immigrant. In an interview with Andrew Falzon, Powell talked about the experience (video below). His Yiddish ain’t too bad either.

In tribute to him the State Department has posted Powell’s Thirteen Rules of Leadership. Falzon alludes to the rules in his question, but they don’t bear on his answer here, which conveys the words of Jay Sickser in what I think is a cousin of the Yiddish expression “Bang your head against the wall.”

In his memoir Powell recalls of Sickser, his employer from age 14 to 19: “He evidently thought that I had worked out well enough to deserve to be brought into the firm, which I had never considered. I took it as a compliment.” The Forward digs out a little more of this slice of Powell’s memoir here.

Via Mosaic.

UPDATE: Tevi Troy says what I would have said about Powell’s life and career if I knew enoughiIn the City Journal column “Soldier, statesman, infighter.”

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