Norman Schwarzkopf dies - FOX 35 News Orlando

Norman Schwarzkopf, retired general, has died

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General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (U.S. Army photo) General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (U.S. Army photo)
Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, in 1991. (DoD photo) Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, in 1991. (DoD photo)

Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., the commander of coalition forces for Operation Desert Storm, has died in Tampa, Fla., the AP reported.

The New Jersey native was 78.

Schwarzkopf's forces drove Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait in 1991.

In his younger years, the West Point graduate served in Vietnam, for which he received numerous decorations.

Former President George H.W. Bush, who remains in intensive care in a hospital in Houston, approved a statement for release about the general's death:

"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, General 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."

Bush was president during the first Iraq war.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued this statement:

"The men and women of the Department of Defense join me in mourning the loss of General Norman Schwarzkopf, whose 35 years of service in uniform left an indelible imprint on the United States military and on the country. The son of a decorated Army officer, General Schwarzkopf followed his father's legacy of service by enrolling in West Point in the 1950s.  His bravery during two tours in Vietnam earned him three silver stars, and set him on the path lead our troops into battle in Grenada, and then to take charge of the overall allied effort in the first Gulf War as Commander of United States Central Command. General Schwarzkopf's skilled leadership of that campaign liberated the Kuwaiti people and produced a decisive victory for the allied coalition. 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."

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