Norman Schwarzkopf, the U.S. general who spearheaded Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 Persian Gulf War assault against Sadaam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invading Kuwait, died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., of complications with pneumonia at the age of 78.

After a six-week air campaign, Schwarzkopf led over 700,000 allied troops in a 100-hour blink-of-an-eye ground campaign to push Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait.

"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," President Barack Obama said of Schwarzkopf.


It was a remarkably swift assault, and Schwarzkopf was commended not only for his leadership, but also for his skill handling the media. During his tenure he also received the nickname “Stormin” for his temper. Depsite his tough image and military skill, he maintained an anti-war position.

“Yes, I am antiwar,” Schwarzkopf once told U.S. News & World Report. “All you have to do is hold your first soldier who is dying in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that I can’t do anything about it…Then you understand the horror of war.”

Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton, N.J. in 1934. He went on to attend West Point and eventually served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning three silver stars. Following his work in the Persian Gulf, Schwarzkopf received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and a standing ovation from Congress.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda, his sisters, and his children, two daughters and a son, as well as his grandchildren.

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