Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf dies at 78

8:19 PM, Dec 27, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON - Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. He was 78.

A sister of Schwarzkopf, Ruth Barenbaum of Middlebury, Vt., tells The Associated Press that Schwarzkopf died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., from complications from pneumonia.

A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly as "Stormin' Norman" for a notoriously explosive temper.

He lived in retirement in Tampa, where he had served in his last military assignment as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command. That is the headquarters responsible for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly 20 countries from the eastern Mediterranean and Africa to Pakistan.

Former President George H.W. Bush, who is currently hospitilized in Houston, released this statement on behalf of he and his wife.

"Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation. A distinguished member of that 'Long Gray Line' hailing from West Point, Gen. Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the 'duty, service, country' creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises. More than that, he was a good and decent man - and a dear friend. Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife, Brenda, and his wonderful family."

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell also commented on the news.

"With the passing of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, America lost a great patriot and a great soldier. Norm served his country with courage and distinction for over 35 years. The highlight of his career was the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. 'Stormin' Norman' led the coalition forces to victory, ejecting the Iraqi Army from Kuwait and restoring the rightful government. His leadership not only inspired his troops, but also inspired the nation. He was a good friend of mine, a close buddy. I will miss him. My wife, Alma, joins me in extending our deepest condolences to his wife, Brenda, and to her family."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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