WASHINGTON — U.S. politicians from both parties on Monday remembered Colin L. Powell as a highly respected public servant, trusted adviser to presidents and statesman upon learning that the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had died of complications from COVID-19.

“Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience,” former president George W. Bush said in a statement. “He was such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”

Powell served as secretary of state under Bush — a tenure that was marred by a 2003 appearance before the United Nations in which Powell cited faulty information in seeking to make the case for U.S. war against Iraq.

That episode was largely set aside Monday, however, as tributes poured in for a man whose career in public service began when he was a soldier in Vietnam.