General Norman Schwarzkopf, the man who led U.S. troops during the first Gulf War in 1991, died at 78 years old yesterday.
Schwarzkopf was residing in Tampa, Florida, the location of his last military assignment: commander of United States Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base. He died of complications from pneumonia.
A mountain of a man and sometimes short-tempered, Schwarzkopf was known as “Stormin’ Norman.” He was also quick to tear up when he spoke of the men and women he led. He was often seen as a spokesman for veterans and never seemed to lose the love a real leader has for their well-being.
Schwarzkopf became famous for his briefings during Operation Desert Storm, when a worldwide but U.S.-led coalition ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s troops from Kuwait. After the war, General Schwarzkopf received due recognition as both a strategist and a leader.
Schwarzkopf was the first post-Vietnam, modern-day general to grab the popular imagination. He became a military analyst after retiring in 1992. Commentators often encouraged him to run for political office—even the White House—but he eventually chose to stay in retirement.
Schwarzkopf is survived by his wife, Brenda, and three children. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
The general set a standard for military leaders that many have aspired to—and many failed to meet—both in uniform and out. He will be missed.