Gen. “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf, who led coalition forces to victory in the Gulf War, died today in Tampa, Fla., according to the Associated Press.
Schwarzkopf was 78 years old. He was a West Point graduate who served the Vietnam war and rose up the ranks in the Army.
He was promoted to general and appointed to lead U.S. Central Command in 1988. Schwarzkopf retired in 1991 and brushed off calls that he run for political office.
The general had been married to his wife, Brenda, since 1968. They have three children.
UPDATE: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Schwarzkopf’s “35 years of service in uniform left an indelible imprint on the United States military and on the country.”
“General Schwarzkopf’s skilled leadership of that campaign liberated the Kuwaiti people and produced a decisive victory for the allied coalition,” Panetta said of the Gulf War. “In the aftermath of that war, General Schwarzkopf was justly recognized as a brilliant strategist and inspiring leader. Today, we recall that enduring legacy and remember him as one of the great military giants of the 20th century. My thoughts and prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family in this time of sadness and grief.”
“With the passing of General Norman Schwarzkopf, we’ve lost an American original,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “From his decorated service in Vietnam to the historic liberation of Kuwait and his leadership of United States Central Command, General Schwarzkopf stood tall for the country and Army he loved. Our prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family, who tonight can know that his legacy will endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service.”