Retired United States General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. died Thursday in Tampa, Florida from complications of pneumonia. In 1991 Schwarzkopt led the United States military during Operation Desert Storm.
Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. was born in Trenton, New Jersey. His father was one of the investigators working the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case before returning to the military life. In 1946 at the age of 12 Schwarzkopf moved with his family to Tehran, Iran.
Schwarzkopf graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1956. He was 43rd in his class despite being a member of Mensa. He continued his education at the University of Southern California earning a Master of Science in mechanical engineering in 1964. After graduating from West Point he trained at Fort Benning, Georgia.
While serving in Vietnam Schwarzkoft raised through the ranks. He was promoted to Major during this period. He was known as a strict leader.
In 1988 Schwarzkopf was promoted to General and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the United States Central Command based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. His strategy during Operation Desert Storm lead to the ground war closing in just four days. Very visible by the media during the war General Schwarzkopf was nicknamed Stormin Norman.
After Desert Storm Schwarzkopf was offered the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He turned down the position and retired from military life in 1992.
President Obama released a statement Thursday on the death of Schwarzkopf as well as former President George H. W. Bush and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
"With the passing of General Norman Schwarzkopf, we've lost an American original," Obama said in a statement. "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.
"Our prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family, who tonight can know that his legacy will endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service."
"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 President George H.W. Bush.
"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." – former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
He is survived by his wife Brenda and their three children.