Retd Gen who led 'Operation Desert Strom' dead

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 04:49 hrs

Washington: Retired US general Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the coalition forces to drive former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm, died at age of 78, reported Xinhua citing a media report on Thursday.

Schwarzkopf, popularly known as "Stormin' Norman", died in Tampa, Florida, where he retired after his last military posting as commander-in-chief of the US Central Command.

Former president George H.W. Bush, who organized the Operation Desert Storm in 1991 during his one term in office, was the first to issue a statement mourning his loss.

In the statement, Bush, who is himself sick and remains in the intensive care in Texas, said he and his wife Barbara "mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation".

"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," Bush said.

"More than that, he was a good and decent man," the statement added.

Schwarzkopf, who is also a Vietnam War veteran, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1934. He went to Iran when he was just 12 to join his father, who had been posted there by the US military.

He had been educated in Tehran, Geneva and Frankfurt before returning to the US to enroll in the West Point.

Schwarzkopf and his wife Brenda had three children.

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